UV-C Device Reduces Pathogens in Hospital Patient Rooms


Results of an eight-month hospital study, "Room Decontamination with UV Radiation," were published in the October 2010 issue of "Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology." The study evaluated the ability of an automated UV device, Tru-D, to decontaminate patient rooms contaminated with MRSA, VRE, C. difficile and a multi-drug resistant strain of Acinetobacter baumannii.


The research team of William A. Rutala, PhD, MPH, Maria F. Gergen, MT (ASCP), and David J. Weber, MD, MPH, conducted the study at University of North Carolina Health Care from Jan. 21, 2009 through Sept. 21, 2009.


Epidemiologic studies show that patients hospitalized in rooms occupied previously by infected individuals experience a significantly higher rate of acquiring infectious organisms from environmental surfaces. Trials using fluorescent markers reveal that only 48% of environmental surfaces are actually disinfected during terminal cleaning.


These studies identify problems associated with manual disinfection and provide substantial opportunities to improve the patient environment, while inspiring the development of decontamination devices like the automated Tru-D (Total Room Ultraviolet Disinfection).


During phase 1 of the North Carolina trial, MRSA, VRE, Acinetobacter baumannii, and Clostridium difficile samples were placed behind objects and within line-of-sight of the UV-C device. UV-C reduced vegetative bacteria counts by more than 99.9 percent within 15 minutes. C. difficile spore reduction was 99.8 percent within 50 minutes.


For phase 2, isolation rooms for MRSA or VRE infected patients were sampled. After 15 minutes of UV-C exposure, researchers found a significant decrease in total CFUs (384 vs. 19), in positive MRSA samples (81 vs. 2), and in MRSA counts per plate (37 vs. 2). Similar reductions were recorded for VRE.  Meaningful reduction (3.3-3.9 log10) occurred when contaminants were shadowed from direct exposure (e.g., back of the handrails).


The team concluded that the environment-friendly UV-C device is effective in significantly reducing pathogens on all environmental surfaces, both line of sight and shadowed. Results of published Tru-D studies should not be interpreted or applied to similar, second-tier products. Tru-D is ETL listed in conformance to UL STD 61010-1.




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