Five Tips for Keeping Your Labour and Birth Department Germ-Free

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Cleaning any part of a hospital is important, but keeping the labour and birth area clean is extremely important. These areas deal with a lot of bodily fluids, and they care for infants, one of the most vulnerable parts of society. Want to ensure your labour and birthing area is as clean and safe as possible? Then, keep these tips in mind:

1. Educate everyone about the importance of infection prevention

The key aspect about cleanliness in a labour and birth ward is about preventing the spread of infections to new mums and babies. So everyone on staff fully understands the risks, your hospital should do maternal death reviews, patient audits and comprehensive staff training.

2. Reduce the spread of germs from staff members

When nurses, technicians and other healthcare workers fully understand the risks involved, they will be more likely to follow hospital rules designed to reduce the spread of germs into the labour and birth area. Staff should always have clean uniforms, and ideally, they should change into their scrubs after they arrive at work rather than commuting in them.

Staff also should not travel between the labour and birth ward to the emergency department or any other wards of the hospital. They should also be trained in the proper disposal of bodily fluids.

3. Dispose of bodily fluids appropriately

In a labour and birth department, there is a lot of human waste produced every day. Staff should be trained on how to properly dispose of the placenta, blood and any other fluids. These fluids should be segregated and incinerated.

In cases where mothers want to take the placenta home with them (to eat or bury under a tree), the hospital should have a policy, and it should have sealable clean containers for the mothers to use for that purpose.

4. Clean all horizontal surfaces daily

In addition to dealing with bodily waste, workers in the labour and birth department should also be prepared to do a lot of disinfecting. Ideally, all of the department's horizontal surfaces besides the ceiling should be disinfected daily, and if the room is used by more than one patient, all horizontal surfaces (countertops, floors, etc) should cleaned in between patients just as linens and equipment are.

5. Disinfect patient equipment with a high-level disinfectant

All equipment used by the mother or the baby including tubes, monitors and resuscitation equipment should be disinfected with a high level disinfection spray after every use. This tactic helps to keep the hospital clean, and equipment can be disinfected by hospital staff or an outside cleaning crew that specialises in hospitals.

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