In the UK, healthcare uniforms are laundered domestically in line with the Department of Health (DoH) Uniform and Workware guidance (2010). Nurses in the National Health Service (NHS) are required to domestically launder their uniforms at 60°C (140°F) to ensure safe removal of microorganisms. Recently 33% of NHS staff questioned said they launder their uniforms at 40°C (104°F), well below the DoH guideline temperature of 60°C. Although a 60°C wash is sufficient to remove bacteria from textiles, at lower temperatures, and with a biological detergent, both Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli at low levels remain on the textiles and are able to cross contaminate other items in the wash. Those cells remaining may have the potential for further contamination of the clinical environment.
In this previously recorded, 20-minute webinar, presented by TRSA's Women in Textile Services Committee, Dr. Katie Laird will discuss:
- Survival of microorganisms on textiles
- The effect of low temperature laundering
- Whether or not there is evidence to support home laundering of uniforms
- Risks and opportunities
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