AORN Disavows Home-Laundering Scrubs; Recommends Using Laundry Facilities Only

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October 2010 - In its strongest stance yet on surgical attire, AORN has announced that the upcoming release of its updated Recommended Practices for Surgical Attire will only recommend using approved laundry facilities; all recommendations for home laundering of surgical attire have been removed.  This is the most significant change to these Recommended Practices since they were introduced in 2005.

Several recent studies have examined the role of attire in healthcare-associated infections, and although the evidence implicating textiles in infection outbreaks is still emerging, the consensus is that improperly laundered attire and linens can negatively impact the health of patients, staff and the outside community.  AORN's updated Recommended Practices for Surgical Attire reflect these beliefs as well as the widespread increase in the healthcare industry's HAI prevention efforts, which have been spurred, in part, by the effect that HAIs have on reimbursement rates.

Members of AORN'S Recommended Practices Committee acknowledge that adherence to the updated Recommended Practices for Surgical Attire may require a culture shift in some healthcare environments.  To facilitate such changes, the updated Recommended Practice will include a number of new resources and references that can be used to raise awareness of safe surgical attire.  

The AORN Recommended Practices for Surgical Attire can be ordered online at or by calling AORN customer service at (800) 755-2676, ext. 1. The price will be $55 for members and $95 for non-members.