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J Hosp Infect. 1994 Jul;27(3):219-35.

How hospital linen and laundry services are provided.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, London, UK.


Hospitals provide clean linen for patients and staff. This article describes the laundering process, laundry equipment, how used hospital linen differs from that of other large organizations and the Department of Health guidance on handling and laundering hospital linen. It reviews how hospital linen contracts are awarded and the responsibilities of the team which evaluates them. Methods of microbiological testing of laundered linen and the interpretation of the results are considered. The properties of different fabrics available for use in operating theatres are summarized. Measures to prevent infection and injury to staff handling used linen are given.

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