FDA Highlights Mattress Cover Infection Risk

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The Food and Drug Administration has issued a Safety Communication notifying healthcare providers of the risk of infection from worn medical bed mattress covers.

From January 2011 to January 2013, the FDA received 458 reports associated with mattress cover fluid ingress — when the mattress cover leaks blood and body fluids into the mattress. Fluid ingress can cause infection if patients come in contact with the leaked fluids. Fluid leakage can occur due to worn or damaged covers; incorrect cleaning, disinfecting and laundering procedures; and zippers, according to the release.

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The FDA issued the Safety Communication to educate healthcare providers on the risk of medical bed mattress cover ingress. "The FDA is concerned that fluid ingress from worn or damaged medical bed mattress covers may be widespread and largely under-recognized by healthcare providers, healthcare facility staff and caregivers," the FDA wrote.

The FDA made 10 recommendations related to mattress cover inspection; removal and replacement; maintenance; and inspection plan development.

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