If a hospital is treating a patient with Ebola, potentially infectious linens — including non-permeable pillows and mattresses and textile privacy curtains — are considered a “Category A” infectious substance, according to a webinar hosted by the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council titled Ebola Virus Disease Preparedness for Healthcare Linen Service Providers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises professionals to use a rigid waste receptacle specifically made for infectious substances, and incineration or autoclaving are also recommended as ways to eliminate viral activity, according to an article on the American Laundry News website.
“Red-bagging and incinerating absorbent materials is the best practice, and that’s what we’re telling our hospital clients to do,” Aaron Gersh, healthcare division vice president at Superior Linen Service, said. Healthcare clients should be informed not to send to a laundry any linens that have been used in cases of confirmed or suspected Ebola.
“We don’t want it, and it’s not worth the cost of the replacement linen to mess with it,” he said.
He added that facilities should familiarize themselves with the Department of Transportation’s special handling and licensing regulations for potentially contaminated linens.