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When a pregnant woman is due for delivery or a sick person is preparing his or her things to get admitted to a hospital, they usually have something like a checklist to make sure they carry all the necessary belongings. One of these belongings includes towels.
Some people forget to take towels or rather don’t take towels along with them because they feel the hospital will provide one. This leads us to the question of “Do hospitals provide towels“
Well, yes, hospitals provide towels, but these towels are not like the ones we use at home; they can barely wrap your body let alone dry them that is to tell you how small they are. These towels are mostly used to wrap newborns. It is very rare to see a hospital that provides big towels for its patients.
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Reasons Why Hospitals Should Provide Towels
There are very few reasons why hospitals should provide towels for their patients. They include
- Most times, patients come to the hospital when they have an emergency, they won’t have the time to arrange and take the essential things they need, it could be towels or something else, but most times it is usually towels. For this reason, hospitals should provide towels for the patients, and possibly add them to their bills.
- Patients have a great degree of trust in hospitals. That is the reason why they go there in the first place. It is, therefore, safe to say that many of them would feel relieved to make use of materials provided by the hospital, towels inclusive. Hence, the hospital has to maintain this trust that patients have in them by providing towels for the patients.
Possible Risk Of Hospital providing Towels For Their Patients
Human beings generally have a sense of entitlement, especially when money is involved. Patients may have filled their heads with the idea that the towel now belongs to them because they paid for it, not realizing that it was actually rented and is still the property of the hospital.
Also, people may have some fungi infections that they may not even be aware of, hence would be left untreated. When such patients make use of the towels, despite treating and sterilizing them, the fungi causative organism might not be killed. To avoid the transfer of these infections, it is advisable on the part of patients to bring their towels.
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Are The Towels In Hospital Clean?
Oftentimes, people feel that hospital towels are clean because they think they have the products and disinfectants that help to kill microorganisms.
There was an incident when a group of investigators decided to experiment to answer this question. They took towels from 10 different hospitals in Arizona.
Each of these towels was submerged in buffered peptone water to see if they can extract microorganisms. They found out that about 90% of all the towels had microorganisms on them with 3% of them having dangerous bacteria known as Escherichia coli.
Also, they found out that the buckets they used in soaking the towels had different bacteria in them. The towels in hospitals are not 100% clean because hospitals are places where diseases are treated; even though the place looks clean, there are microorganisms around that we can’t see with the bare eyes except with the use of a microscope.
Even the products used in keeping the medical facilities clean can contribute to the contamination of the towels in the hospital.
What Are The Precautions Hospitals Should Take To Reduce The Risk They Face When They Provide Towels?
- Regular replacement of towels by the hospital. It is only fair that hospitals make it a duty to periodically replace towels that have been used. In this way, the risk of transfer of infections can reduce, and proper hygiene can be maintained. This replacement can be done as regularly as once every 2 months for a higher degree of efficiency.
- The hospital staff should make it a point of duty to inform patients about policies or rules in regards to the use of towels. In this manner, patients a duly informed of the use of towels and the fact that they did not buy them from the hospital.
What Are The Things Hospitals Can Do To Keep Their Towels Clean?
Every health care system should have written procedures to guide basic general cleaning and ensure that all hospital equipment and supplies are kept clean. These procedures include washing and disinfection.
This process is done with warm water and detergents (it could be medicated or none medicated detergent, but preferably medicated detergent) removes the visible dirt, stains, and contamination on the towel. It is usually very effective for decontaminating towels.
However, there are situations where washing the towels alone would remove all the dirt and germs. This will require Disinfection of the towel.
This process helps to reduce the number of small microscopic organisms and germs on the towel to a level which they do not present as a risk to both the patients and the hospital personnel.
Disinfection works better if the towel has been washed thoroughly. The chemicals that should be used to disinfect towels include sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach).
This bleach is mainly used to disinfect white towels. After disinfecting the towels with bleach, The towels can be sterilized by changing the setting of the washing machine.
Increasing the temperature to about 155°F for cotton towels and less than 140°F for linen towels for about 60 to 90 minutes can kill most germs and microorganisms.
Furthermore, they should be removed after the last process and put the towels into a dryer, or better still sun them instantly. The heat from the sun also helps to kill germs.
Do Hospitals Provide Blankets?
Hospitals located in this part of the world are not predisposed towards giving blankets to their patients; the patients are allowed to bring their blankets from home.
However, those in countries on the other side of the world (consisting of predominantly white citizens) do provide blankets for their patients.
One very commonly given blanket is the heated blanket known as an effective thermal blanket (a type of blanket which functions and is very beneficial in retaining the body heat and providing the required warmth to patients) used especially during winter or when the temperature of patients is considerably lower than normal.
Yes, it is very bad to share a bath towel because different types of bacteria and fungi can live on damp towels for days, months, and even years.
They stay longer on towels because towels have the ability to retain moisture. Everyone is meant to have their personal towels even if it is a child, or an adult to avoid the spread of infections. Also, cotton towels are the best type of towels to use for a child because they are soft.
What Are The Possible Infections That Can Be Transferred By Sharing Towels?
We all are well aware that a quick means by which skin infections and germs can be transferred is when towels are used by more than one person.
Germs can also be transferred between clothes and towels in the process of being washed especially if the washing process is not done properly. Fungi infections and diseases strive and thrive in damp conditions and environments. Examples of such infections include athlete’s foot, ringworm, yeast infections, and many more.
Can Disease Be Transfer Through The Sharing Of Towels?
Not at all, the majority of diseases known to men cannot be transferred by making use of or sharing the same towels. Disease can only be transmitted via other hygienic means.
Furthermore, infections such as trichomoniasis can be transmitted through damp towels, wet clothing materials, or even toilet seats, the greatest transmission process being contact.
Can I Take Hospital Blankets Home?
Some hospitals allow their patients to take their blankets home when they have a newborn baby. The blankets are usually small, so they just gift them to the baby.
Do Hospitals Provide Towels – Conclusion
From this article, we understand that not all hospitals give towels. Very few give towels because some patients come to the hospital in a rush without carrying the necessary things they need.
Also, some hospitals do not like to provide towels because of the possible skin infections that can be transmitted. For hospitals to provide towels for their patients they should be ready to carry out all the important measures to avoid the transfer and spread of diseases and infection. These measures include proper washing and disinfection.
Heat can also kill germs on towels. Some hospitals do not have the capital to provide dryers, so they make use of the heat from the sun to dry the towels after all the procedures. If you don’t feel comfortable using the hospital towels, you can as well bring your own from home.