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Am J Infect Control. 2014 Apr;42(4):366-70. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2013.11.013.

The silver lining of disposable sporicidal privacy curtains in an intensive care unit.

Author information

1
Monash Infectious Diseases, Monash Health, Clayton, Victoria, Australia. Electronic address: despina.kotsanas@monashhealth.org.
2
Infection Control and Epidemiology, Monash Health, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.
3
Monash Infectious Diseases, Monash Health, Clayton, Victoria, Australia; Infection Control and Epidemiology, Monash Health, Clayton, Victoria, Australia; Department of Medicine, Southern Clinical School, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The environment is a well-known source of health care-acquired infection. Because of the known risk of contamination, patient privacy curtains require frequent changes to decrease the risk of spread from patients to curtain and visa versa.

METHODS:

Fourteen disposable sporicidal privacy curtains were tested from December 2012 to June 2013 while hanging in a busy intensive care unit. Significant bacterial pathogens were identified and total bacteria enumerated as colony-forming units. Antimicrobial activity of curtain swatches was also tested against a range of bacteria in the laboratory. Measurements were recorded as zone of inhibition and contact inhibition. A cost analysis to replace standard curtains with disposable sporicidal curtains was also undertaken.

RESULTS:

Cultures grew low numbers of skin and environmental microorganisms with no methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or Clostridium difficile detected. Vancomycin-resistant enterococci were recovered in very low numbers from 2 curtains where vancomycin-resistant enterococci-infected patients had been located. Privacy curtains demonstrated antimicrobial activity against C difficile and 13 additional bacterial pathogens.

CONCLUSION:

We conclude that disposable sporicidal privacy curtains are cost-effective and best replaced at 6 months in a high-risk area such as an intensive care unit.

KEYWORDS:

Cost analysis; Disposable privacy curtains; Intensive care unit; Nanoparticle silver; Sporicidal

PMID:
24679561
DOI:
10.1016/j.ajic.2013.11.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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