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BY THE NUMBERS //

Dirty Laundry

Grab the bleach. A typical hospital washing machine can handle
5,200 pounds of linens per hour.

Fall 2008
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42
Length, in feet, of a state-of-the-art tunnel washer, the type used in commercial laundries, to clean hospital linens

5,200
Pounds of laundry per hour handled by such washers

1
In a Modern Healthcare survey, rank held by laundry for being the most frequently outsourced hospital service

27,200
Pounds laundered per day for the Massachusetts General Hospital, a 900-bed facility, in 2007

82
Percent of MGH laundry that is patient linen (the remainder: scrubs and linen used during operations)

1910.1030(d)(4)(iii)(A)(2)(i)
Occupational Health and Safety Standard stating that laundries must make available containers for the safe disposal of “sharps” (such as hypodermic needles and surgeons’ tools) found in dirty linens

160
Lowest water temperature, in degrees Fahrenheit, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for disinfecting hospital laundry

307
BTUs of energy consumed during one drying cycle—the amount of energy it takes to run a 75-watt lightbulb for just over an hour

6330856
U.S. patent number of a scrubs vending machine installed in hundreds of hospitals to reduce replacement and laundering costs by limiting access to scrubs and forcing authorized users to exchange soiled items to get a clean set

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