HAIs and the Cubicle Curtain

see graph

Hospital Acquired Infections cause over 99,000 deaths annually in the USA

Cubicle curtains are one of the most frequently touched objects and therefore transmission points in the patient room

Cubicle curtains hanging in the US are typically infected with VRE [43%], CDIFF [4%] and MRSA [22%] *

Most hospitals lack any kind of protocol for the systematic exchange and cleaning of cubicle curtains

*Source: Cleveland, OH Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Identifying High Touch Surfaces

Cubicle curtains have been known to transmit HAI’s.  Trilis et all (2008*) reported that 42% of hospital privacy curtains were contaminated with vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), 22% with MRSA and 4% with Clostridium difficile (C-diff).  Clean hands of hospital workers were cultured after they opened/closed the curtains and the organisms had transferred to clean hands or gloves.  The conclusion: healthcare- associated pathogens left on curtains are transferred to hands and could potentially lead to HAI’s.

*Source: Trillis et al. 2008 Contamination of hospital curtains.  Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 29:1074. www.unc.edu/depts/spice/dis/SurfDisinfBest12.pdf