A Guide to Cleaning Medical Furniture

Furniture in medical clinics, hospitals and doctors’ offices needs to be kept exceptionally clean.

Not only do exam tables, beds and bed rails, carts, phlebotomy chairs and other medical furniture items get constant use, they also can be subject to blood, bodily fluids and other contaminants. Some pathogens can even live on surfaces for up to 5 months outside a host. Germs and bacteria on medical furniture and hard surfaces can spread disease and cause particularly serious problems for people who have lowered immunity due to illness or injury.

Cleaning and disinfection are crucial for medical environments, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

What are the best techniques for keeping medical furniture clean? The Association for the Health Care Environment (AHE) offers these detailed guidelines:

  • Bleach – AHE recommends a 10:1 ratio of water to bleach for sanitizing surfaces. Bleach is one of the few disinfectants that is effective against the dangerous, antibiotic-resistant Clostridium difficile (C. diff) bacterium.
  • Peroxide – Peroxide is a beneficial low- to mid-level disinfectant when used in a 3% solution. Some peroxide cleaners qualify for the EcoLogo green product certification.
  • UV lights – Ultraviolet light at a 254-nanometer wavelength (the visible light spectrum ranges from 390 nm to 710 nm) works well as a bactericide. Cycle time exposures vary, so users should follow manufacturers’ guidelines to maximize effectiveness.
  • Alcohol – Alcohol and alcohol wipes are convenient for minor cleaning. Isopropyl or ethyl alcohol diluted to a 55 to 70% solution is effective against mycobacterium tuberculosis but has limited effectiveness against other pathogens.
  • Quaternary ammonium compounds – Quats are potent disinfectants often found in antibacterial wipes and other cleaners intended for high-touch surfaces such as countertops (or household toilets). A number of companies make hospital-specific quat-based cleaners that disinfect and deodorize in one step. Some compounds have proven effective against staph bacteria.
  • Steam – In some situations, steam makes an effective weapon against bed bugs as well as bacteria, fungi and viruses in upholstery.

For best results, hospitals and clinics should:

  • Refer to manufacturers’ instructions for cleaning medical furniture, chairs, exam tables and any other surfaces with which people might come into contact.
  • Choose a single product or set of products to be used throughout the facility, which simplifies sanitation regimens and helps meet healthcare furniture cleaning specifications.
  • Be sure that cleaning equipment and any solutions or dilutions are correct for medical cleaning purposes.

About Custom Comfort Medtek

Custom Comfort Medtek has been manufacturing specialty medical furniture and related products since 1987. Located in Central Florida, the company prides itself on designing products to meet a variety of clinical needs for customers worldwide. Visit the Custom Comfort Medtek website to request a digital catalog or contact the company directly at 800-749-0933.

This entry was posted in no categories.