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National Infection Prevention and Control Manual

National Infection Prevention and Control Manual

Appendix 8 - Management of Linen at care level

Linen bagging and tagging

Image showing the category 'used linen', which is all used linen in the care setting not contaminated by blood or body fluids. No inner bag is required and the linen should be placed in the white linen bag.Image showing the category of 'infectious linen', which is all linen used by a person known, or suspected, to be ifectious and linen that is contaminated with blood or body fluids. Linen should be placed in a water soluble (alginate) bag placed into a clear polythene bag. This can then be put into a red linen bag.Image showing the category of 'heat labile linen', which is all linen that may be damaged (shrinkage or stretching) by thermal disinfection. If the linen is used, no inner back is required. If linen is infectious, linen should be placed in a water soluble (alginate) bag placed into a clear polythene bag. The linen can then be put into a blue linen bag.

Ensure all linen bags are:

  • Securely tied
  • Not overfilled
  • Tagged with Hospital, ward/department and date

If linen process has been outsourced to an industrial service provider, follow the categorisation system for used and infectious linen set out by the service provider.

Acknowledgement: With thanks to NHS Lanarkshire for providing the material from which this appendix was reproduced.