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Laundry services in hospitals

Cleanliness in laundry services

  1. The laundry services can be in house or outsourced. As a rule only following items may be cleaned in the laundry
    1. Hospital patients linen
    2. Hospital curtains
    3. Hospital Kitchen linen
    4. Hospital staff uniforms
    5. Other authorized items like blankets, mattresses and pillows Staff personal clothing is not cleaned in the hospital laundry.
  2. Segregation and Collection of soiled linen
  3. All linen after use will be collected in each department / ward and segregated into potentially infective and not potentially infected. The former will include all linen which has been soiled with body fluids and will be kept separately.
  4. Personnel working in the receiving and sorting area are required to wear a long gown,mask and gloves. He should keep his hands away from his or her mouth and eyes and thoroughly wash his or her hands when leaving the receiving and sorting area. No eating and drinking is allowed in this area./li>
  5. Sluicing / Treatment of soiled / infected linen
    1. All infected linen / linen soiled with body fluids will be soaked in 0.5% bleaching solution for 30 mins then washed with water & detergent to remove bleach before handing over for washing.
    2. Handing taking over of linen with the laundry staff. The soiled linen is tied into bundles and an entry made. The infected linen is accounted and handed over separately. If possible all linen is inspected for tears and damage at this point to avoid dispute.
  6. The linen is washed, dried and ironed by the laundry staff. Infected linen is washed separately. The linen is returned to the health facility where it is properly taken over and a record made of the same. Repairs will be carried out on torn linen.
  7. Clean linen should be stored in a dry place on racks. Clean linen is transported on a clean trolley.
  8. Laundered linen is issued to the patient at the time of admission and taken back at the time of discharge. Linen if soiled by body fluids is frequently changed.
  9. Blankets can be dry cleaned or hand washed. Hand-washing can be done by first soaking for 15 minutes in lukewarm water. The soap suds are squeezed through the blanket and then rinsed in cold water at least twice. The blanket should not be twisted or wrung. It should be dried by spreading it on a clean surface.
  10. Pillows and mattresses can be washed with soap and water and left to dry in the sun.
  11. Blankets pillows and mattresses can be fumigated if required by keeping them in a closed room and the room is then fumigated.
  12. Linen soiled with faeces pus and blood should be sluiced in 0.5% Bleaching solution in the ward or central storage area for 30 mins followed by washing with clean water & detergent before handing in the laundry it should be washed separately then subjected to boiling with frequent stirring. The addition of 0.3% Washing soda enhances the effect of boiling.

Source: Swachhta Abhiyaan Guidelines for Public Health Facilities

Related Resources

  1. Guidelines For Implementation Of "KAYAKALP" Initiative


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