STRETCHER MATTRESSES AND COVERS
REPLACING YOUR MATTRESSES
Your mattresses get a lot of use and abuse — especially stretcher mattresses that are moved from department to department many times each day. As mattresses get worn out, there may be holes and tears in the fabric that allow blood or other bodily fluids to enter the mattress.
Between 2011 and 2016, the FDA received over 700 reports of mattress covers failing to prevent these fluids from entering the mattress 1. Some reports indicated that “if blood and body fluids from one patient penetrate a mattress, they can later leak out from the mattress when another patient is placed on the bed.”
Aside from being a safety concern for both your patients and your staff by increasing avoidable infections (and their associated costs), a damaged mattress decreases overall patient confidence in their care. Following these simple tips from the FDA can help you make sure that your mattresses are in good condition and ready for patients.
DEVELOP AN INSPECTION PLAN
- Create an inspection plan for all mattresses in your facility.
- Check the expected life of the mattress and the mattress cover.
- Contact the bed mattress cover manufacturer for any additional questions.
Regularly check each mattress cover for any visible signs of damage or wear.
Routinely remove the mattress cover and check its inside surface for wet spots, staining, or signs of damage or wear.
REMOVE AND REPLACE
Remove any damaged, worn, or visibly stained mattress according to your facility’s procedures and the manufacturer’s instructions.
Immediately replace any mattress cover with visible signs of damage or wear to reduce the risk of infection to patients.
Clean and disinfect undamaged medical bed mattress covers according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Do not use the mattress as a pin cushion for needles.