Decreasing Clostridium difficile health care–associated infections through use of a launderable mattress cover

Published:October 20, 2015DOI:


      The annual incidence of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in the United States is estimated to be 330,000 cases. We evaluated the impact of using a launderable mattress and bed deck cover on the incidence of hospital-onset CDI in 2 long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs).


      Two LTACHs began using a launderable mattress and bed deck cover on beds starting in May 2013. One facility had 74 beds, and the other had 30 beds. Covers were changed after every patient. The covers were laundered using hot water, detergent, and chlorine. Rates for CDIs were compared using Poisson regression between the 16 months before use of the launderable cover and the 14 months after the cover started being used.


      At hospital A, the use of bedcovers reduced the rate of infection by 47.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 47.1-48.6), controlling for the rate of handwashing compliance and length of stay in days. At hospital B, the use of bedcovers reduced the rate of infection by 50% (95% CI, 47.5-52.7), controlling for the rate of handwashing compliance and length of stay in days.


      The use of a launderable cover for mattresses and bed decks of hospital beds was associated with a decreased rate of health care–associated CDI in 2 LTACHs.

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