As the threat of antibiotic resistant microorganisms increases, UVC LEDs are becoming the method of choice to deliver on demand, quantifiable surface disinfection at the point-of-need.
Contaminated surfaces are everywhere— hospital rooms and equipment, living rooms, airports, and virtually any public place. While efforts are made to properly disinfect they often fall short of total elimination of the most virulent contaminants.
Kinds of Surface Disinfection Methods
Disinfection is the process of reducing the number of viable microorganisms and can also be referred to as “sanitization.” This differs from sterilization which is the process for killing all microorganisms commonly achieved by heat or harsh chemicals reserved for critical care medical instruments which enter sterile tissue or fluids.
Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) is a disinfection method where UVC light is used to inactivate microorganisms by disrupting their DNA/RNA and leaving them unable to reproduce. In the healthcare industry, surface disinfection guidelines are based on the degree of risk. High-level disinfection is recommended for semi-critical patient care equipment such as endoscopes, breathing circuits and respirators. Intermediate and low-level disinfection is recommended for non-critical patient care surfaces such as blood pressure cuffs, stethoscopes, EKG leads and environmental surfaces.
Why UVC Disinfection
Almost all current surface disinfection methods use chemical agents. Chemical disinfection can be confusing and inconsistent because of the many products available. To ensure proper disinfection, the selected agent, manner of use (immersion vs contact) and the treatment time must be correctly and consistently applied. Deep ultraviolet light, albiet in the form of germicidal mercury lamps, has been used and proven over the past 100 years to be effective as part of a high level disinfection protocols. UVC LEDs offer a solution for next generation devices to employ the benefits of UVC surface disinfection.
Benefits of UVC LEDs
Proven maintenance free germicidal performance against spore forming bacteria
Compact and portable product designs
Consistent, effective and trackable hygiene compliance
CONSIDER THIS: C. Diff
A hallmark of high level disinfection is killing bacterial spores. In healthcare, the most prominent bacterial spore is Clostridium difficile (C. diff). A 2015 CDC study found that C. diff caused almost a half million infections annually, directly attributable to an estimated 15,000 deaths and $1 billion in excess medical costs. In its endospore form, C. diff can remain viable on surfaces for several weeks, even months, causing the CDC to identify it as an urgent threat in the fight against antibiotic resistant microorganisms.