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Infection Control Procedures for Medical Cushions and Mattresses

Sumed products can be disinfected in accordance with Department of Health guidance. Below are details of the disinfection options available:

Cushion Covers

All Sumed Stretch Towelling, Cotton and Coated Polyester. These can withstand hospital laundering temperatures specified in (1) HSG (95) 18 ie 71°C hot air tumble drying or 40°C with 1,000 ppm Chlorine added to the penultimate rinse.

Slight wrinkling of some of the fabrics may occur but there will be no adverse effects on the fire retardant properties of the fabric.

In addition, if waterproof covers become contaminated, then a variety of chemical disinfectants could be used for surface decontamination. However, we do not recommend the use of Phenols (eg Hycolin, Stericol) as they tend to make the PU coating of the fabric rather brittle. Chlorine releasing agents are the most commonly used chemical disinfectants following recommendations made by the (2) Microbiology Advisory Group to the DOH in 1991 and (3) ACDP guidance November 1995.

Waterproof covers can withstand wiping with full strength (10,000 ppm) Sodium Hypochlorite or Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate (NaDCC). Chemical contact with the fabric should be maintained for 2-5 minutes, followed by a final wiping with water and detergent.

The Cushion

The Maxitech cushion module (see above) and protective inner cover of the Ultra 90 and Prago can be disinfected in the same way ie wiping over the surface with a 1,000 ppm dilution of Chlorine releasing agent.


(1) Health Service Guidelines – Hospital Laundry Arrangements for Used and Infected Linen. NHS Executive 21.4.95.

(2) Decontamination of Equipment, Linen or other surfaces contaminated with Hepatitis B and or Human Immunodeficiency Viruses, Microbiology Advisory Committee July 1991.

(3) Protection against blood borne infections in the workplace: HIV and Hepatitis – HMSO Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens November 1995.