Bed linens in the ICU

  1. Our ICU has recently been instructed on how we are to put linens on the bed. First we now have to put a fitted sheet. Then directly on top of that goes a flat sheet followed by a chucks pad which the pt. lies on.

    We we used to just use a flat sheet and an absorbent pad. Someone, somewhere, decided that because we started the flat sheet low, it increase a risk of infection. We put it low to account for the boosting and turning.

    I feel, as do my peers, this new way is a skin risk. QUESTION: How does your ICU do bed linens and how would you feel about an extra linen under your pt. ?
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Greenclip
    We use a fitted sheet and a large blue absorbent pad (cloth, not paper) as our standard. We use the blue pad as a draw sheet to turn patients. We have superb skin outcomes.

    Patients at high risk for skin breakdown get different treatment, including a special mattress or special bed.
  4. by   smf0903
    Quote from Greenclip
    We use a fitted sheet and a large blue absorbent pad (cloth, not paper) as our standard. We use the blue pad as a draw sheet to turn patients. We have superb skin outcomes.

    Patients at high risk for skin breakdown get different treatment, including a special mattress or special bed.
    Same here.
  5. by   MunoRN
    On the floors, a fitted sheet with a wicking/breathable pad is the standard. The beds in ICU are much different and the manufacturer recommends against using a fitted sheet on these beds as it interferes with the function of the mattress and bed, and prevents the active therapies the bed provides to protect skin from working correctly.

    I get the concern about the patient coming in direct contact with the mattress, but there's no actual reason to believe this poses a infection control risk, the pathogen load of a cleaned mattress cover is extremely low, quite possibly lower than that of clean hospital linen, which have been shown to still carry significant amounts of pathogens.
  6. by   Kuriin
    Wouldn't all the linens pose more of a risk of skin breakdown? How does your facility propose to use specific mattresses such as P-500s for skin breakdown when you can't put many sets on?

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