Exploration of New Mattress Technologies to Reduce Healthcare Associated

Wednesday, July 13, 2011: 2:25 PM

Denise Korniewicz, PhD, RN
School of Nursing, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
Vivian Padron Fajardo, PhD, ARNP
School of Nursing and Health Studies, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to describe the practical use of new technologies useful in reducing health care associated infections in the acute care setting.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to identify the importance of additional research needed to investigate the anti-infective properties of silver impregnated hospital bed mattresses.


The purpose of this study was to assess the usefulness of silver impregnated mattresses in disinfecting mattresses during and after use among medical and surgical patients.  


A repeated measures non-randomized clinical trial was conducted on medical (n=60) and surgical (N=79) patients. Bed mattress cultures were completed at four time intervals across four hospital floors (3 medical, 1 surgical). Culture swab specimens were obtained prior to admission, immediately after discharge, one hour after discharge and 24 hours after discharge. Basic descriptive statistics were performed on all demographics and univariate comparisons of culture growth across all four periods were performed using Cochran’s Q test.  


A total of 139 patients occupied the study beds, providing a total of 556 cultures.  Cochran Q comparison of nominal repeated measures indicated a significant increase in the growth of microorganisms (p<.001).   The GEE results demonstrated that the mattresses used by medical patients were 2.4 times more likely to be positive for microbial growth than mattresses used on surgical patients (OR = 2.4; CI, 1.4-4.1).


The use of Ag+ technologies appears to have an important promise with regard to the prevention of HAIs because of their qualities as natural and continuous disinfecting agents.  Therefore, we recommend that they be further investigated for use in clinical settings.