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Decontamination Technologies for Healthcare Facilities


Robin Jump, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the Case Western Reserve University describes recent technologies that are important for infection control in hospitals.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“There [are] two relatively recent technologies that have come on the market that are important for infection control. [They] are more widely applied in hospitals and I think they will have a space in long-term care as well. The problem, [is] that they’re very expensive, but they do seem to have some effectiveness.
One of these [technologies] is hydrogen peroxide vapor [and] people [often] use this to disinfect or decontaminate large spaces. Some of the down-sides of using hydrogen peroxide vapor [is that] we have to close off the ventilation system, close off the doors, and create a seal within the room. I haven’t looked at it in a couple of years but this is what I [am] aware of.
The UV devices seem to be more user-friendly. These are devices where all you have to do is shut the door of the room. So the device goes in, the door gets shut, the device is then programmed to disseminate UV light throughout the room, it bounces around so it can get to those difficult to reach surfaces, like underneath things and around things, and it works to kill the spores. It can take up to about 45 minutes to an hour and it may have to be done in two sessions, so one time in the room and one time in a bathroom, for example. If we’re looking at two hours to do a cleaning of a room, or two hours to get the spore burden down, it’s completely worth doing that, and that can serve as the terminal clean to then allow the resident and perhaps their roommate to be back in the room. It’s also as I said before, very, very expensive to invest in these machines.”
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