Thread Number: 70052  /  Tag: Detergents and Additives
Emails suggest linens to be 'likely' source in deadly mold outbreak at Pittsburgh hospitals
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Post# 929703   3/30/2017 at 12:35 (206 days old) by joe_in_philly (Philadelphia, PA, USA)        

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I thought some people may find this interesting. I had assumed that hospital linens would need to be completely pathogen free!

Below is a link to the CNN article.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO joe_in_philly's LINK

Post# 929739 , Reply# 1   3/30/2017 at 18:15 (205 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Sad, but has happened before.

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In Louisiana a few years ago:

And finally:

Ever since the large scale movement of hospitals and other healthcare facilities closing their in house laundries, and sending things out the growth of such laundries has exploded. However not every laundry knows what they are doing and that is where the problems start.

Post# 929752 , Reply# 2   3/30/2017 at 19:20 (205 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

Clean sheets are great anywhere. Hospitals used to be pretty clean. Now they are dirty.
If OSHA held hospitals to the same standards as funeral homes, they would be shut down.
I guess the assumption is that by the time people get to the funeral home cleanliness isn't as important because they are dead. Problem is, the cooties that killed them are not.

All of our linens are done in house so we know how they have been cleaned.

Post# 929764 , Reply# 3   3/30/2017 at 20:06 (205 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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I'd heard of similar a few years ago about the privacy curtains that surround the hospital bed being a culprit. They can hang there for weeks or months as patients, staff and visitors come and go from a room

Post# 929839 , Reply# 4   3/31/2017 at 03:18 (205 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

Launderess would know best.  In my day surgical linens either went to the autoclave or ETO  sterilizer after returning from a commercial laundry.  The difference being "clean or sterile.  Many things in surgery are sterile and disposable.  This is scary.  The patient in the transplant unit therapeutically immunocompromised to prevent organ rejection is an epic fail.  I hope the family has a great lawyer.  It will not go to trial, trust me the hospital will "settle" on this one.   A

Post# 929851 , Reply# 5   3/31/2017 at 06:21 (205 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Have never heard of routine autoclaving/sterlizing of linens

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Operating room and other linen that *must* be sterile; yes, that is another matter.

Back in the day when hospital stays were for several days or even weeks, and nearly everyone got a bath and change of linen every morning, followed by changes required due to soiling during the day, floors and units generated huge amounts of soiled linen. Laundering alone was a huge enough process, it would be very costly and time consuming to also autoclave all those sheets, pillow slips, draw sheets, etc.

Thing to remember as happened in both the linked OP and my own links is that persons who succumbed to infections were already immunocompromised. In that weakened state any bacteria, virus or fungal infection could take hold and prove fatal. That and of course the very young (newborns, children), and perhaps the elderly. This falls into what every nursing, medical and other healthcare professional learns as a student; for the most part germs or whatever on surfaces aren't going to cause illness. The human skin and other systems are remarkable in their ability to keep germs out and or deal with them before they get too far into the body. Again this is for healthy individuals with good immune systems. Long as key hygiene is remembered (washing of one's hands, not putting fingers in mouth or touching eyes, etc...), most all of use are pretty safe.

Think about it; were things otherwise humans would have largely vanished off the face of the earth from disease. Say this because there are germs, including some very nasty ones all over every single surface we come into contact with daily. If you could see what is growing on your keyboard, telephone, that pole you hang onto while riding the bus, your car's steering wheel, heck even your own loved one's hands, you'd never feel safe in your own skin again. You'd certainly not let anyone touch you!

Problem with fungi is they are everywhere; their spores are airborne and that casing makes them difficult to destroy.

This feeds into the debate we've long had here and consumer groups have taken up regarding the merits of various "sanitize" cycles on dishwashers or "boil washing" cycles on washing machines. Sure when things come out they *might* be very well sanitized or even near sterile, but soon as fresh air hits them a new crop of germs and fungi will settle down. If you dry your laundry outdoors in the "fresh" air, well there you are then.

Just as you cover foods when out in open air, so should clean linen. In my day linen was never left uncovered during transport. We were taught in school *not* to carry linen against our uniforms. You didn't shake or unnecessarily fluff linens in the air when changing soiled linens, nor making a bed with fresh ones either.

The problem these places seem to be having is they've outsourced their laundry, but no one is taking the time to assure quality control. In the case that Louisiana children's hospital the so called "infection control" nurse didn't even bother about newly delivered clean linen being left uncovered on loading docks.

In a modern high tech laundry there are plenty of chances for laundry to become "contaminated".

Post# 929857 , Reply# 6   3/31/2017 at 06:35 (205 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Drool, drool,

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German commercial/hospital laundry equipment.

Post# 929893 , Reply# 7   3/31/2017 at 08:28 (205 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

I have never heard of routine autoclaving or ETO for routine, non surgical linen either.

Post# 929904 , Reply# 8   3/31/2017 at 09:24 (205 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        

have sick people with all kinds of germs, bacteria, and viruses.
Sanitation and sterilization is an acute issue.
One large hospital system was cited by the state for insufficient sterilization of surgical instruments.
Now as the news has been publicized, they have to rebuild their reputation.
They run five hospitals in the major medical district.
Even the best hospitals can have strep, staph, or insect infestations.
If the surfaces or linens can't be disinfected with hot water or steam, then they need to be chemically treated.
A few years ago, a 33 year old woman died of a flesh eating strep infection.
Anyone can get it.
Doctors and nurses need to have good education and experience in these areas.
Quarantine when necessary to protect other patients.
They "practice" medicine, and learn new things all the time.
My sister in law is an RN at a large hospital. Last month she had a patient whom she thought had suffered a stroke. The staff said his vitals were fine, and no.
She persisted and explained his symptoms over the past few days, and insisted they do an MRI immediately. It saved his life. He indeed had a stroke.
She was awarded for her diligence.

Post# 930029 , Reply# 9   4/1/2017 at 02:17 (204 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Not just hospitals--but also motels&hotels-watch on you tube of reviews of DISGUSTING innplaces.Dirty towels,moldy showers,Cum stains on bed linens,roaches,mice,bedbugs,and drug equipment.Sometimes even bloodstains on the walls!After watching the reviews of hotels-makes you NOT want to stay there and not travel.See why folks are buying campers again!

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