Infection Rates Drop at Westchester Medical Center When Pulsed Xenon UV Used to Disinfect Rooms


A new study published in the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), reports that the use of pulsed xenon ultraviolet (UV) light technology enabled Westchester Medical Center (Valhalla, NY) to reduce healthcare associated infections (HAIs) by 20 percent. This is the third hospital to publish a study demonstrating a decrease in patient infections as a result of utilizing Xenex Disinfection Services’ pulsed xenon UV room disinfection technology. Xenex will participate in and demonstrate its germ-zapping robots during APIC’s annual conference in Anaheim, Calif., June 7-9, 2014.

According to the AJIC study (Haas JP, Menz J, Dusza S, Montecalvo MA: Implementation and impact of ultraviolet environmental disinfection in an acute care setting. Am J Infect Control 2014, 42:586-590), healthcare-associated vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridium difficile (C. diff), and other multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) decreased among patients after adding pulsed xenon UV environmental disinfection to the hospital’s cleaning regimen. The retrospective study discovered that the rate of HAIs caused by MDROs and C. diff was significantly lower during the 22 months of pulsed xenon UV disinfection use compared with the 30-month period before UV disinfection (2.14 cases per 1,000 patient-days vs 2.67 cases, respectively). This dramatic decline in incidence occurred despite missing 24 percent of pulsed xenon UV disinfection opportunities.

According to the authors, “In our study, overall decreases in MDROs plus C.diff infections were led by a decrease in VRE infections, which is our most common hospital-acquired MDRO. Although there were many other simultaneous infection control interventions occurring at our hospital that could have contributed to the reduction in VRE acquisition, the rates experienced during ultraviolet disinfection are the lowest incidence rates of VRE at our institution for the past 10 years and were sustained for 22 months.”

Xenex’s patented pulsed xenon UV disinfection system has been repeatedly proven effective against C.diff and other MDROs.

“We congratulate Dr. Haas and her team for their commitment to patient safety. Despite the challenge of double-occupancy rooms, the hospital was able to disinfect a significant percent of their rooms – and saw a significant drop in infections as a result,” says Mark Stibich, PhD, Xenex co-founder and chief scientific officer. “Eliminating superbugs like MERS, C. diff and MRSA from the environment before they harm patients is what can and should be done – right now. Our customers publishing their infection reduction results in leading peer-reviewed journals like AJIC demonstrates to other hospitals the benefits of Xenex disinfection for patient safety. Reducing the risk of infection through disinfecting the environment is an essential component of infection control."

Multiple peer-reviewed studies have proven that Xenex germ-zapping robots are highly effective and approximately 200 hospitals and Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities in the U.S. are using the Xenex system, which is capable of disinfecting a patient room in just 5 to 10 minutes. A study published in AJIC in August 2013 reported that Cooley Dickinson Hospital (an affiliate of Massachusetts General Hospital) experienced a 53 percent decrease in the rate of hospital-acquired C.diff infections after implementing the Xenex system. A study published in Journal of Infection Prevention in 2013 reported that Cone Health experienced a 56 percent reduction in its hospital acquired MRSA infection rate after implementing an infection prevention program that included the Xenex room disinfection system.

Xenex’s germ-zapping robots use pulsed xenon ultraviolet light to quickly destroy the viruses, bacteria, mold, fungus and bacterial spores in the patient environment that cause HAIs. Uniquely designed for ease of use and portability, the superbug zapping robot is operated by hospital staff without disrupting hospital operations. With a five minute disinfection cycle, the robot disinfects dozens of rooms per day, including patient rooms, operating rooms (ORs), equipment rooms, emergency rooms, intensive care units (ICUs) and public areas. The Xenex robot contains no mercury and is the only “green” technology used in automated room disinfection.

Source: Xenex Disinfection Services

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