Targeting and Reducing Bloodborne Pathogens
It is estimated that, on average, about 1 in 25 inpatients acquire an infection related to hospital care. In fact, healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) can occur in any healthcare facility – hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and long-term care facilities. This results in the tragic loss of tens of thousands of lives and billions of dollars to the U.S. healthcare system annually. In American hospitals alone, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that HAI’s account for an estimated 1.7 million infections and 99,000 associated deaths each year.
Clearly, accurately targeting and reducing the pathogens causing these losses is of paramount importance. But how to ensure the efficacy of these efforts – particularly given the broad range of potential infection sources, including bacteria, fungi, viruses, spores, and other less common pathogens?
Delivering Optimum Disinfection Effectiveness
Since the discovery of the effect of ultraviolet light in preventing the growth of microorganisms in the late 1870’s, identifying and ensuring dosage levels adequate to achieve maximum efficacy against particular pathogens has been a consistent challenge.
In the early 20th century, advances in the understanding of ultraviolet light identified UVC at 254nm-265nm wavelength delivered optimum disinfection effectiveness. By the 1950’s UVC was being used in the fight against outbreaks of tuberculosis and influenza. This emerging role has resulted in a broader acceptance of UVC disinfection as an adjunct to routine manual cleaning methods.
Today, UVC is used to effectively target and eradicate a wide range of harmful pathogens, including Covid-19, C.diff, C.auris, MRSA, VRE, CRE, Norovirus, and many more. Each pathogen has its own unique characteristics and a Log Reduction Value required to achieve neutralization.
As effective as targeted dose UVC disinfection is – particularly as an adjunct to manual cleaning methods – other variables can come into play and potentially limit the efficacy of your disinfection efforts. These include shadowed areas, corners, and indirect or distant surfaces which may not get enough exposure to meet minimum dose requirements.
Confirmation that sufficient UVC dosage has been delivered to all targeted areas throughout a space requires the use of a challenge device that accurately measures the precise dose received. Ideally, that system is transportable and easily maneuvered, placed, and repositioned as needed in order to treat hard-to-reach areas and surfaces.
Precise UVC Measurement Through Extensive Research
In 2012, to ensure a repeatable, measurable process, researchers chose the RD™ UVC mobile system to validate the UVC dose required to kill C.diff at a 3.4 log10 reduction or 99.96% , 2500/1 spore count reduction as it was the only system which could provide the accuracy of reporting required to verify that dosage. Each challenge device measured the actual UVC reaching the targeted area, reported it in real time to the emitter which continued running until the minimum dose was received. The dose and treatment data in turn delivers critical proof confirming kill dose rate.
More than a decade later, RD™ UVC remains the only UVC system that uses proven, patented, remote UVC sensor challenge devices to measure, record, and report in real time the UVC lethal dosage to ensure disinfection. Additionally, as new threats arise, the RD™ UVC system can be populated with specific, third-party published UVC dosage data to help eradicate newly identified pathogens – data that can be readily updated as needed.