Patients Clothing Bags for Contaminated Laundry – Information for Clinical Staff (Order Code is L005343)
The PCB (Patient Clothing Bag) has been designed for the washing machine at home; it is not suitable for industrial washing machines. The PCB complies with HSG (95) 18 and provides a sealed unit for the safe transportation of patients personal clothing that may be contaminated with body fluids or been in contact with a known infection. These bags should not be used for routine patient laundry.
Nursing staff should place these bags into a patient clothing bag and issue the visitor / relative with the accompanying information leaflet Washing Clothes at Home: Carers Advice Leaflet. Nursing staff should put the patient’s personal contaminated clothing into the bag and seal with the pink tie. Do not knot the bag.
The placement of soiled / contaminated clothing into these bags and the issuing of the advice sheet should be recorded in the patients nursing notes.
Although the risk to the relatives and carers is low, contaminated or soiled clothes are not ‘nice to handle’ especially in the absence of disposable / single-use gloves.
Manual washing at ward level should not occur - ‘Manual soaking / sluicing must never be carried out.’ DOH June 2006.
How the bag works:
The bag has a soluble external membrane covering the seam, and a pink soluble tie. When they are in direct contact with water in the washing machine the membrane dissolves and releases the soiled clothing directly into the wash, therefore eliminating the need for the visitor / relative / carer to handle the contaminated laundry.
The bag should go into the domestic washing machine unopened.
Detergent, preferably a biological detergent is advised – (chemical disinfection).
The hotter the temperature of the water the better but consideration has to be given to the
type of material and the washing instructions. The bag will open at any water temperature.
At the end of the wash the bag must be removed and put into domestic waste.
We recommend that no other articles of clothing are added to the wash, to allow full
agitation, rinsing and dilution.
When the PCB is removed from the washing machine the clothes can now be tumble dried
(thermal disinfection) or air dried.
Iron the clothing to assist further removal of micro-organisms – (thermal disinfection).