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UV light disinfection could mean death to HAIs

October 22, 2012

WASHINGTON — About 1.7 million Americans are infected with a hospital-acquired infection (HAI) during their hospital stay each year, according to the Scientific American.

uv hospitalClostridium difficile (C. diff) can live on door handles and other surfaces; Acinetobacter can survive in the open air; and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) is tough to beat with other drugs, the article stated.

According to the article, even surfaces thoroughly cleaned and disinfected by cleaning staffs can leave some spots unaffected, resulting in surfaces that are still dangerously contaminated.

UV technology as sterilization tool

However, a new study has found that a certain frequency of ultraviolet (UV) light can kill almost all of the more dangerous forms of bacteria from at least the surfaces of a hospital room — even when not directly exposed to the light, the article noted.

"We were able to demonstrate that we could achieve well over 90 percent reduction in each of those three bad bugs after using the UV light," Deverick Anderson, co-director of the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network and study collaborator.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.