Warning: Risk of Infection with Medical Bed Mattresses

The FDA has received 458 reports associated with medical bed mattress covers failing to prevent blood and body fluids from leaking into the mattress (fluid ingress) from January 2011–January 2013. Fluid ingress may occur if mattress covers become worn or damaged from zippers, small holes, rips, or incorrect cleaning, disinfecting, and laundering procedures.

Damaged and soiled mattresses can be a source of contamination during infection outbreaks. Blood and body fluids can also leak out from the mattress when a patient is placed on the bed. Contact with another patient's blood or body fluids increases their risk for infection.

The FDA recommends the following for inspection and maintenance:

  • Regularly check each medical bed mattress cover for any visible signs of damage or wear.
  • Routinely remove the medical bed mattress cover and check its inside surface; inspect all sides and the bottom of the mattress.
  • Immediately replace any medical bed mattress cover with visible signs of damage or wear.
  • Do not stick needles into a medical bed mattress through the cover.

The FDA will continue to monitor this issue and notify the public if new information becomes available.

For more information visit the FDA website