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Safety matters: proper handling of linens 

Everyone who handles linen, including bedding and reusable patient gowns, is responsible for ensuring it is transported and stored appropriately. Contaminated linen can host drug-resistant organisms and other harmful pathogens that can spread hospital-acquired infections. 

Proper handling of CLEAN linen

  • Perform hand hygiene before handling clean linen. 
  • Carts or baskets used to deliver or store laundered linens must be clean or have a clean liner before accepting processed linens.
  • Clean linen should be covered during transportation and storage and must remain separate from dirty linen or other types of soiled items.
  • Avoid storing excess clean linen in patient rooms. 
  • Linen brought into patient rooms cannot be returned to the clean linen cart or be used for another patient. Instead, place this clean linen in a blue “soiled linen” bag to be laundered. 
  • Mesh is not acceptable for covering linen carts. Contact your local materials department for information on ordering solid linen cart covers.

Proper handling of DIRTY linen

  • Must be bagged where it’s collected
  • Must be in covered containers when in a patient room
  • Should remain separate from clean linen or other types of clean items
  •  Must be laundered by a hospital-approved/accredited facility