Bacterial contamination on the surface of hospital linen chutes

Whyte, W. , Baird, G. and Annand, R. (1969) Bacterial contamination on the surface of hospital linen chutes. Journal of Hygiene, 67(3), pp. 427-435. (doi: 10.1017/S002217240004184X) (PMID:5258222) (PMCID:PMC2130739)

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Summary: A survey of 13 linen chutes in eight hospitals was carried out to assess the amount of bacterial contamination on the inner walls of these chutes. It was shown that the average bacterial count in these chutes was low by general hospital standards (19·7 bacterial colonies per Rodac plate). This concentration was eight times less than the average concentration found on the floor surface at each linen disposal and collection point (153 bacterial colonies per Rodac plate). Three chutes sampled during the survey were periodically cleaned but appeared to derive only very limited benefits from the cleaning method they used. Tests carried out on three linen chutes showed that the bacterial surface contamination of a sterilized chute could normally reach a maximum concentration in a period of between 4 and 24 hr. It is concluded that so long as good engineering practices are used in the construction of linen chutes the bacterial contamination on their inner surface should not contribute to the problem of hospital cross infection. For this reason, and because of the impracticability of sterilizing linen chutes at very short intervals of time, it is considered that cleaning of chutes would serve no practical purpose.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Full text is available via the link/s.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Whyte, Dr William
Authors: Whyte, W., Baird, G., and Annand, R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering
Journal Name:Journal of Hygiene

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