Hospital Infection Control & UV-C

Infection Mitigation | Benefits

Hospital Infection Control & UV-C

Protecting Staff and Patients from Disease

UVR’s most recently published article titled. “UV-C and Hospital Infection Control” talks about UVC’s role in the modern war against infectious diseases. It cites that: each year, more than two million people contract a hospital-acquired infection (HAI) that are often antibiotic-resistant. In 2013, these infections resulted in at least 23,000 deaths (CDC). And states: HAIs, kill more people than AIDS, breast cancer and auto accidents combined.

It also talks about emerging diseases such as SARS and MERS to emphasize that the war is being fought on three fronts: HAIs, antibiotic resistant microorganisms (ARMs) and “emerging diseases” – and how engineering plays a pivotal role in fighting this battle.

Because UV-C kills all known microorganisms, the article outlines some basics of infectious diseases and points to engineering-level guidance for continuously reducing, or in some cases, preventing infectious pathogens from growing on or circulating in hospital spaces and HVAC systems.

The basics of pathogen types and how they are manifested as diseases (etiology) are discussed, which includes virulence (how it affects people); its transmission (how they’re spread), and which interventions are shown to work best for which diseases. This basic knowledge provides a foundation to design interventions that intercept or interrupt, and therefore reduce the risk and spread of infectious agents. There are many forms of transmission and most are covered.

The war against HAIs, ARMs and emerging diseases are then discussed in more detail along with infection control to aid the designer and operator in utilizing UV-C energy to fortify existing infection control schemes and to further combat them by adding UV-C energy in the upper air of patient rooms, emergency rooms, waiting rooms, isolation rooms/wards, surgery suites and childcare rooms—anywhere known “sources” of infectious agents exist.

The article also discusses airstream disinfection and surface irradiation and disinfection in HVAC equipment – citing kill ratios of infectious agents in those locations and how that helped the University of Buffalo Women and Children’s Hospital successfully combat NICU environment and tracheal microbial colonization’s. Significant reductions in VAP [ventilator-associated pneumonia] and antibiotic use were achieved in this study using UV-C in the HVAC equipment serving these spaces!

An article summary is included which also provides some basic cost information for budget considerations. Two Sidebars are also provided that discuss HAIs and Medicare and where additional sources of infectious disease articles can be found. The article also cites 23 valuable references used in the writing of the article.