92% of hospital privacy curtains contain bacteria

Twelve out of 13 hospital privacy curtains contain potentially harmful bacteria, including those resistant to antibiotics, according to a new study from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, funded by antimicrobial fabric maker PurThread. After laundering, 92 percent of curtains were contaminated with organisms within one week. Twenty-one percent of curtains contained methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and 42 percent had vancomycin-resistant enterococcus species (VRE).

Coupled with another recent study that indicated that 60 percent of hospital uniforms are filled with dangerous bacteria, hospitals might consider increasing laundry frequency and provider education. The study recommends that hospital workers wash their hands after touching the curtains and before touching the patient. Press release