Patient shoe covers: Transferring bacteria from the floor onto surgical bedsheets


      • Disposable shoe covers exposed briefly to apparently cleaned surgical floors were found contaminated with a large number of bacteria.
      • Bacteria, including pathogens from contaminated shoe covers, can be transferred to surgical bedsheets.
      • An infection control policy should be considered to prevent patients returning to their bed with contaminated disposable shoe covers.
      Forty disposable medical shoe covers were briefly exposed to the surgical floor and were found contaminated by a large number of bacteria. This study also demonstrated live bacteria, including pathogens attached to contaminated shoe covers, can be subsequently transferred to surgical bedsheets. We suggest an infection control policy should be considered to prevent patients returning to their bed with contaminated disposable shoe covers.

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