Background: The environment is a well-known source of health care-acquired infection. Because of the known risk of contamination, patient privacy curtains require frequent changes to decrease the risk of spread from patients to curtain and visa versa.
Methods: Fourteen disposable sporicidal privacy curtains were tested from December 2012 to June 2013 while hanging in a busy intensive care unit. Significant bacterial pathogens were identified and total bacteria enumerated as colony-forming units. Antimicrobial activity of curtain swatches was also tested against a range of bacteria in the laboratory. Measurements were recorded as zone of inhibition and contact inhibition. A cost analysis to replace standard curtains with disposable sporicidal curtains was also undertaken.
Results: Cultures grew low numbers of skin and environmental microorganisms with no methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or Clostridium difficile detected. Vancomycin-resistant enterococci were recovered in very low numbers from 2 curtains where vancomycin-resistant enterococci-infected patients had been located. Privacy curtains demonstrated antimicrobial activity against C difficile and 13 additional bacterial pathogens.
Conclusion: We conclude that disposable sporicidal privacy curtains are cost-effective and best replaced at 6 months in a high-risk area such as an intensive care unit.
Keywords: Cost analysis; Disposable privacy curtains; Intensive care unit; Nanoparticle silver; Sporicidal.
Copyright © 2014 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.