Potential Risks and Compliance Issues with Domestic Laundering of Healthcare Uniforms
The domestic laundering of nurses uniforms may pose some important infection control risks, studies have been conducted on how information on domestic laundering protocols (Department of Health (DoH) Uniform and Workware guidance (2010)) are disseminated to nurse through their NHS Trusts and the compliance of this guidance by nurses. Showing that 33% of NHS staff questioned said they launder their uniforms at 40°C, well below the DoH guideline temperature of 60°C. Further analysis has shown during lower temperature washes (40°C) Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Clostridium difficile spores are able to survive the wash and also cross-contaminate other items of textiles in the wash. The bacteria remaining on uniforms after laundering could then potentially go on to further contaminate the hospital environment.
Is there an argument that anti microbial textiles may provide part of a solution?
Ian Hargreaves, Laundry Solutions Technical Consultant
Dr. Katie Laird CBiol MSB FHEA, Senior Lecturer in Microbiology Head of the Infectious Disease Research Group De Montfort University
Professor Val Edwards-Jones Ph.D., CSci, FIBMS, FRSM, Emeritus Professor of Medical Microbiology Manchester Metropolitan University Visiting Professor, Institute of Skin Integrity and infection Prevention University of Huddersfield