SAN FRANCISCO — A disinfection system using ultraviolet C light was highly effective as an adjunctive cleaning method, along with standard terminal cleaning, in reducing environmental pathogens at a tertiary children’s hospital, according to research presented at IDWeek.
“The role of the environment in the transmission of health care-associated infections (HAIs) is well-established, and automated systems that use UV-C light to kill pathogens by inactivating their DNA have been shown to be associated with reductions in both HAIs and pathogen load on surfaces,” Monica Nayakwadi-Singer, MD, MPH, an associate physician at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, told Infectious Diseases in Children. “However, there isn’t a great deal of literature on the use of this technology in pediatric settings.”
Nayakwadi-Singer and colleagues tested single-occupancy hospital rooms for pathogens on patient discharge at three time points — 1) before the rooms were cleaned, 2) after standard terminal cleaning but before the Clorox Healthcare Optimum-UV System was used, and 3) following adjunctive UV-C cleaning. They collected surface swabs from 11 high-touch areas, including the call button, telemetry monitor, door handle, toilet flush handle, bedrail, keyboard pad, mouse, side table, dresser and line switch. Following terminal disinfection, the researchers used the UV-C system for one or two cycles of 5 minutes each, based on the size of the room.
The researchers reported that the mean total bacterial colony counts in the rooms before they were cleaned were 116.6 colony-forming units (CFUs), compared with 29.06 CFUs in rooms after they were cleaned but before UV-C was used, and 6.37 CFUs in rooms after they were treated with UV-C. The researchers noted that the time the sample was taken — before cleaning, after cleaning and after using the UV-C system — was the only factor that could explain the differences in total bacterial counts in a multivariable analysis.
“Pediatric populations generally face a heightened risk for infections, and our research found that using UV-C technology, in this case the Clorox Healthcare Optimum-UV System, is a highly effective way to enhance traditional cleaning and disinfecting protocols,” Nayakwadi-Singer said. – by Bruce Thiel
Singh P, et al. Abstract 1153. Presented at: IDWeek; Oct. 3-7, 2018; San Francisco.
Nayakwadi-Singer reports receiving grants and being an investigator for Clorox. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.