Cooley Dickinson Hospital Reduces Infection with UV Light

NORTHAMPTON — A study published in the August 2013 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control demonstrates that the use of high-intensity, broad-spectrum ultraviolet light significantly decreased the rate of hospital-acquired Clostridium difficile (C.diff) and C.diff.-related deaths and colectomies (removal of the colon) at Cooley Dickinson Hospital (CDH).
The peer-reviewed journal article summarizes one year’s results — January 2011 through January 2012 — when Cooley Dickinson’s infection-prevention team saw a 53{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} decrease in hospital-associated C.diff, a virulent germ that can cause diarrhea, sepsis, and death.
The results came about after CDH staff used Xenex Disinfection Services’ portable ultraviolet (UV) room-disinfection robots throughout the 140-bed facility.
Hospital-acquired infections are a leading cause of death in the U.S., killing roughly 100,000 Americans a year. A 2008 study published by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America found that fewer than 50{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of surfaces get cleaned after a patient leaves a hospital room. Some germs, like C.diff, can live in the hospital environment for months.