The silver lining of disposable sporicidal privacy curtains in an intensive care unit

Despina Kotsanas, W R P L I Wijesooriya, Tracy Sloane, Rhonda Lee Stuart, Elizabeth E Gillespie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366 - 370
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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