What Is a Hospital Curtain?

Patrick Lynch

The purpose of a hospital curtain is to provide a patient with privacy as well as to prevent infections from spreading throughout the hospital. These curtains are manufactured with safety in mind and must pass stringent health and safety regulations before they are allowed be used in a medical facility. The curtains are available in a variety of designs and colors, but it is their capacity to combat the spread of infection that is their chief attribute. Old curtains often caused serious infections to be transmitted throughout the hospital, but special material is now used to prevent this.

Anti-microbial curtains may help prevent the spread of MRSA, which most often lives in the nasal cavity.
Anti-microbial curtains may help prevent the spread of MRSA, which most often lives in the nasal cavity.

A hospital curtain is also known as a cubicle curtain and is a method of giving privacy to a patient in a hospital. It is normally hung from the ceiling and reaches almost all the way to the floor. According to general health and safety regulations, a hospital curtain should be made from material that is fire-retardant.

MRSA bacteria are typically found in hospitals.
MRSA bacteria are typically found in hospitals.

Hospital curtains are mass-produced to cater to the need of millions of medical facilities worldwide. They are made from a variety of different materials as health and safety requirements for vary from location to location. For example, in the United States, the top portion of the curtain must be at least 70% mesh. This allows water from a sprinkler to penetrate the curtain in the event of a fire.

Only one or two designs of curtain were available in the 1980s while dozens of options were being offered 20 years later. The varieties of curtains on offer include those that can be quickly replaced with others designed for ultimate privacy. Many companies design specific types of hospital curtain in the hope of making a patient's visit more pleasant. Healthcare facilities may even choose their own designs, and colors may be bright and designed to improve the mood of a patient.

Perhaps most importantly, the modern hospital curtain is created to reduce the spread of infections in medical facilities. One of the chief problems with old hospital curtains was their tendency to spread disease. Disease-causing organisms would cling on to the curtain and be easily spread throughout the hospital. To combat this problem, anti-microbial curtains are now in use and can prevent the spread of bacteria such as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA),which can cause serious and potentially fatal illness.

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