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Keeping Healthcare Linens Clean: Underrecognized Hazards and Critical Control Points to Avoid Contamination of Laundered Healthcare Textiles

      Highlights

      • Microbes, particularly molds, on linens pose risks to specific patient populations.
      • Suboptimal handling of cleaned healthcare textiles may result in contamination.
      • Contamination could occur at the laundry or healthcare facility.
      • This report includes checklists to assess laundry and healthcare facilities.

      Abstract

      Outbreaks of healthcare-associated infections, particularly invasive mold infections, have been linked to environmental contamination of laundered healthcare textiles. Contamination may occur at the laundry or healthcare facility. This report highlights underrecognized hazards, control points, and actions that infection preventionists can take to help decrease the potential for patient exposure to contaminated healthcare textiles. Infection preventionists can use the checklists included in this report to assess laundry and healthcare facility management of laundered healthcare textiles.

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