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MILWAUKEE -- A manufacturer of privacy curtains for use in the healthcare environment is calling the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to task for omitting such curtains in recently released guidelines to prevent infectious outbreaks in hospitals.
The CDC's Management of Multi-Drug Resistant Organisms (MDRO) in Healthcare Settings, 2006, outlines the research, current practices, and awareness campaigns used to prevent the outbreak of numerous hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA, VRE, and Clostridium difficile. To view the new CDC guidelines, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/pdf/ar/mdroGuideline2006.pdf.
"While we applaud the CDC Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee for producing this major document, it leaves healthcare and infection control practitioners in the dark on privacy curtains," says Mark Alan, divisional manager for InPro's Clickeze Privacy Systems division. "The guidelines thoroughly address just about everything else but curtains. For example, the new MDRO guidelines discuss protocols for cohorting infected patients in multi-patient rooms with bays when single rooms are not available," Alan continues. "One must assume that some form of privacy curtain would be used in this type of setting. Yet the CDC guidelines omit the use of such curtains, or cleaning protocols should those fabrics become contaminated."
To highlight the risk, Alan points to a 1999 study by Alice N. Neely of the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Matthew P. Maley from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine; the research showed that MDROs survived on many types of hospital fabrics from one day to as long as 90 days or more.
"The Neely and Maley study shows how privacy curtains and other fabric products could be major sources of contact with and the spread of infection," Alan says. "However, it appears that the CDC advisory group overlooked this research, since it doesn't appear in the guideline's list of referenced articles."
According to Alan, the CDC report also fails to address the numerous new compounds, technologies, and treatments that have been introduced to allow healthcare fabrics to vastly reduce or even eliminate organisms. "For example, silane-based technologies, along with other compound applications, bring a whole new level of infection-fighting capability to fabrics used in healthcare. A discussion of these technologies is also absent from the CDC manual," Alan says, adding that "the new fabric technologies could certainly be added to MDRO barrier protocols."
Source: InPro Corporation