Friday, March 17, 2023

Disposable Curtains are an Integral Part of Infection Control in Hospitals

Hospitals have a duty of care to their patients to prevent the spread of infections. They use many tools to do this, with one of the most important of these being disposable curtains. These curtains are so important because they provide an environment difficult for bacteria and other pathogens to colonise. They also provide healthcare professionals with an option that doesn’t require constant cleaning like other curtains.

Caring for Susceptible Patients

We saw heavy use of disposable curtains during the height of the pandemic. Still, it is important to understand that these curtains are crucial for preventing the spread of other pathogens. A class of pathogens that worries doctors is “Super Bugs” which are resistant to all or most of the medications available to treat similar pathogens. 

These bugs, like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), are typically harmless until they find an environment that allows them to multiply. This environment could be a hospital curtain without antimicrobial properties or that should be cleaned more often.

Once they have this environment, they can infect susceptible patients. Because they do not have a cure or are very difficult to treat, these bugs present serious illnesses in these susceptible patients. This situation gets even more complicated in care homes where most residents are seniors who are very vulnerable or whose health has declined as they have aged.

Use of Disposable Curtains in Hospitals

Every hospital uses curtains, disposable or not, in various ways. One of these is to provide patients with privacy. Such privacy is desired when undergoing procedures, family visits, talking to their doctor, or the patient needs to rest.

Some of these disposable curtains also do a great job of creating cubicles without splitting the hospital or ward into permanent cubicles. The disposable curtains from do this perfectly while also being available in various colours and sizes. These temporary and disposable cubicles ensure healthcare and care home professionals can easily transport patients and medical equipment.

Since they are removed and disposed of as soon as they are soiled or their utility ends, any pathogens on them are carried out with the curtains, a much better situation than carrying the pathogens to the laundry room. The risk is that laundry can sit for some time before being washed, leading to the spread of pathogens, especially in cases where a facility does not have proper cleaning procedures. 

Use of Disposable Curtains in Other Healthcare Settings

Healthcare professionals also use disposable curtains outside hospitals. For example, smaller healthcare centres and GP offices require partitions, especially if they have different sections dealing with different types of patients. You may find someone with a sprained ankle being treated alongside someone with a cough. In such a situation, there is a high likelihood of the spread of infection.

Disposable curtains are becoming popular in healthcare settings, especially where there is a high turnover of curtains; or the high risk of infection needs to be minimized as much as possible. They are also used in other settings, such as care homes and smaller healthcare settings where privacy and infection control are critical.

Photo by Gustavo Fring:

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