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Contribution of Mattresses to HAI


Click here to view an Infographic on damaged hospital mattresses

Surfaces in healthcare settings, including inside patient rooms, have been shown to be a significant source of Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) (1). Hospital mattress surfaces have the second highest number of surface contacts after bed rails (2) and have been shown to harbor pathogens resulting in outbreaks (3) in numerous peer reviewed publications:

  • Hospital mattresses harbour dangerous pathogens, including MRSA, VRE, Norovirus and Clostridium (3)

  • Damaged mattresses have been found to be the source of multiple outbreaks of various pathogens over the last 25 years (3)

  • Mattress intervention in a healthcare setting, such as improving cleaning protocols or returning mattresses to an intact state, have been demonstrated to terminate outbreaks (4)

This data is further supported by primary research conducted in 2011 at a leading Canadian hospital, that found that 47% of surveyed mattresses (101 / 213) had some kind of damage (cut/tear/puncture). When 30 of these damaged mattresses were swabbed, 2 were found to contain Clostridium difficile and 1 was found to contain VRE (5).

Check out our fun song and video we developed for Infection Control Week on the need for intact and cleanable surfaces in Healthcare!

(1)   Boyce et al (1997) Infection Control Hospital Epidemiology 18 (9) 622
(2)    Huslage et al (2010) Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 31 (8) 85
(3)    Creamer and Humphreys (2008) Journal of Hospital Infection 69 8
(4)    Rampling et al (2001) Journal of Hospital Infections 49 109
(5)    Ward of the 21st Century – Needs Assessment study

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