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Br J Nurs. 2012 Feb 8-22;21(3):152-4, 156-7.

Mattress cleanliness: the role of monitoring and maintenance.

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Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, Lancashire, UK.


A clean and tidy environment provides the right setting for good patient care. It is fundamental in preventing and/or controlling the spread of healthcare-associated infections (HCAI). Cleanliness is an essential component for the comfort and dignity of patients, particularly those for whom a hospital is home for any length of time. Patients spend a lot of their time in bed so it is important for them to be provided with well maintained and clean mattresses. Beds, and especially the mattresses, should be cleaned and inspected regularly so patients know they are being cared for in a clean and safe environment. To prolong the life of the mattress and reduce infection risks, inspections for damage and contamination must take place on a regular basis. Assessment criteria for the audit of a mattress can include a visual inspection, a cover permeability test and a foam support surface test. These assessments will ensure the mattress is compliant with current standards and identify whether or not they require condemning. Mattress care can be improved by adopting unified good practices that can be standardized and audited regularly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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