Friday, November 11, 2016

UV light and Continuous Disinfection in the Hospital- The Next Implementation Frontier?

Lately I have been discussing the inanimate environment. I have become more convinced that the environment is an important driver of hospital acquired infections (HAIs). Our means of consistently cleaning hospital surfaces is less than optimal.

Heightened cleaning, such as with UVC light, resulted in a significant decrease (25%) in C.difficile incidence, as documented in this study by Dr. David Pegues of the University of Pennsylvania. 

My colleague down the road at the University of Virginia, Dr. Costi Sifri, reported a decrease in hospital acquired infections (78% MRSA and C.difficile) after  introducing copper-impregnated composite hard surfaces and linens (continuously disinfecting surfaces) in the new wing of an acute care hospital. This was a quasi-experimental study so there are significant limitations. Regardless, the study adds to the body of literature on HAIs attributed to environmental cross-transmission. The results are tantalizing.

I still feel that hand hygiene and infection prevention bundles (central line checklists, ventilator bundles etc) are first and foremost in infection prevention. The next challenge is the targeted deployment of heightened cleaning (UVC light) and continuous disinfection strategies to minimize bioburden and lessen infection risk.

The 2nd Annual Gordon Archer Research Day is next week, 11/14/16, at the VCU Larrick Center.

I am greatly looking forward to it so stay tuned and check back for highlights.

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