UV lights kill hospital germs cleaning staff leaves behind


Thinkstock | Bananastock | Jupiterimages

Thinkstock | Bananastock | Jupiterimages

You have to be practically superhuman to get to every nook and cranny when cleaning a hospital room. And the abundance of soft surfaces makes it even tougher to feel confident that all the bacteria has been eliminated after the cleaning staff has moved on. But Clorox thinks it may have the solution.

Clorox has teamed up with UltraViolet Devices, Inc. to create the Optimum-UV, a device that casts ultraviolet (UV) light into a room to kill bacteria. Consisting of four UV lights carried on a wheeled, six-foot aluminum mast, the device bathes a room in light to kill 99.992 percent of bacteria the CDC says threaten patient safety, according to statements in the Los Angeles Times.

Using UV technology to kill bacteria has been around for decades, but the Optimum-UV is designed to provide 360-degree room coverage at less than a third of the price of similar devices currently being manufactured. Realizing possible healthcare uses, UltraViolet Devices redesigned an existing product specifically for hospital use back in 2011, and the Clorox partnership has, in part, resulted in simplified controls and better data collection methods on newer models.

The device currently is being used in Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Valencia, Calif., and a veteran nurse says the machine is a great addition to the cleaning process.

“Housekeeping always does a good job at cleaning our patient rooms,” said Judy Hagerty, who also specializes in infection prevention at the hospital, “but there’s always that question, ‘Did they get everything?’ But with this UV device, you know that every germ that might be in that room is going to get killed.”

Nurses, what do you think? Could this device help reduce hospital-acquired infections?


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