ABX Outcome Study: SSI Reduction Results
Confidential Community Hospital
Atlanta, Georgia USA
Elevated airborne pathogen levels in healthcare settings are a significant, yet under-appreciated cause of hospital acquired infections (HAI) and surgical site infections (SSI) ², ³. In orthopedic surgery, strong correlation exists between the air contamination, the joint sepsis rate and the number of bacteria isolated from wound washout samples ³. In the United States, no minimal standard exists for the number of airborne bacteria, viruses, or fungi in the healthcare settings, including critical areas of surgery suites, immunocompromised patient areas, or intensive care units. Global increase in antibiotic resistant bacterial strains and rise in MRSE occurrence further exaggerate the morbidity and mortality of HAIs and SSIs. Consequently, improving environmental controls in the OR by reducing airborne pathogen burden should take precedence over the development of new prophylactic antibiotic programs. ⁴⁻⁷
The ABX in-room germicidal C-UVC filtration/recirculation unit utilizes a hybrid of biological and physical filtration systems to remove bacteria, fungi and viruses from the air. Its key biocidal technology is a solidstate germicidal irradiation system which provides simultaneous physical filtration and irradiation of highvolume air flow. The system utilizes C-band ultraviolet light (UV-C) at a 254 nm wavelength diffused into a solid media which is gas and radiation permeable. While organisms are slowed or trapped in the solid media, they are inactivated by the internal UV-C dosage (Figure 1).
The ABX technology has previously demonstrated statistically significant reductions in airborne particles
and bacterial colony-forming units when deployed in active ORs.
The implementation of ABX technology in active orthopedic OR performing spinal and joint replacement surgical procedures reduced SSI incidence by 66% (Figure 2).
Figure 2. Decreased incidence of surgical site infections following the implementation of ABX technology in active orthopaedic ORs. CENTER – total number of cases observed; PERIPHERY – number of surgical site infections. The 66% decrease in SSI rate over the 5-month ABX technology implementation period.