Ebola Resources for Healthcare Launderers

Posted October 17, 2014 at 11:37 am

With the recent headlines that the Ebola virus has generated recently, as a result of one death and two known infections in the United States, it’s time to revisit the guidelines for processing linens of those potentially or known to be infected with the Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever.

Click here to read TRSA’s previous article on processing linens of Ebola patients based on a conference call and report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Issued on Aug. 1, the report noted that while there’s no documented evidence that the virus can spread through items such as bed rails, door knobs or laundry, the CDC nonetheless warned hospitals to have staff in proximity to these patients wear PPE, including (at minimum) disposable gloves, gowns (fluid resistant/impermeable), eye protection (goggles or face shield) and a facemask to protect skin and mucous membranes from exposure.

As for handling clothing, bed or bath linens used by Ebola patients, the guidance said that as a precautionary measure, these goods should be destroyed, rather than laundered and reused. “To reduce exposure among staff to potentially contaminated textiles (cloth products) while laundering, discard all linens, non-fluid impermeable pillows or mattresses, and textile privacy curtains as a regulated medical waste.”

To read more on the Ebola outbreak overseas and in the United States, and find further information on potentially dealing with the virus, view the following links from several healthcare media outlets:

Healthcare Groups Offer Online Resources for Ebola Preparedness

Resources Available to Guide Ebola Preparedness

OSHA Issues Ebola Guidance but Slow to Issue Rule

What Employers Need to Know about Ebola for Now

CDC Chief Stresses Infection Control Measures in Ebola Fight

Ebola Preparedness Needed at Clinics

Emory Hospital to Care for Second Dallas Health Worker with Ebola