A cubicle curtain
or hospital curtain
is a dividing cloth used in a medical treatment facility that provides a private enclosure for one or more patients. The curtain is usually made from inherently flame retardant
Flame retardants are chemicals used in thermoplastics, thermosets, textiles and coatings that inhibit or resist the spread of fire. These can be separated into several different classes of chemicals:...
(IFR) fabric, and is suspended from a supporting structure or ceiling track.
Healthcare cubicle curtains are factory made and constructed from different woven fabrics stitched together. The top portion of open mesh of the curtain is required by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). The suggested fire prevention and regulatory codes are followed by local, state and Federal fire marshalls with Healthcare patient safety in mind. The suggestion for mesh is seventy-percent (70%) open allowing for ceiling sprinkler head water penetration in event of fire. The vertical length requirement for mesh size is determined by the number of horizontal inches of the curtain ceiling track from the sprinkler head. Example: If ceiling track is six (6") inches from ceiling sprinkler head, the required vertical length of the mesh is approximately six (6") inches. The maximum vertical mesh length required is eighteen inches (18") regardless of additional distance from the ceiling sprinkler head. The code for the vertical mesh requirement is found under National Fire Protection Agency code #701/large and small scale (NFPA-701). The lower portion of the cubicle curtain is opaque to ensure patient privacy. A cubicle curtain factory made from anti-microbial fabric is not required by code but are becoming more common in medical treatment facilities to reduce the spread of germs within a facility. All cubicle curtains are require to be fire-retardant by NFPA code. The fire-retardant properties can be topically applied to a wide range of fibers used to make the cubicle curtains or can be made from an IFR cellulose acetate fibre with anti-microbial additives.
Cubicle curtain design underwent a period of rapid growth in the 1990s. Instead of traditional solids and tone-on-tones, a broader range of subtle colors, muted tones, and soft hues became available along with different textures and more elaborate patterns. Nature themed cubicle curtains are popular as well as customizable options.
Cubicle curtains have been known to cause HAI’s (Hospital Acquired Infections). Studies have found methicillin‐resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) on cubicle curtains in hospitals. Since the exposure of this phenomenon, some medical treatment facilities have begun to use anti-microbial curtains in an effort to impede the spread of HAI's.
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