Crystalline UV-C Inactivation of Airborne Microorganisms: Clinical and Laboratory Analysis of a Novel Germicidal Air Recirculation Technology
Sue Barnes, RN, CIC, FAPIC
Viktoriya Rybalko, M.S, Ph.D.
Hospital acquired infections (HAI) are the number four cause of death in the United States at an annual cost estimated at $40 billion. With emerging scientific data regarding the contribution of air contamination to surgical site infections (SSI), there is increased interest in considering innovative adjunctive technologies to support best air quality in operating rooms (ORs).
C-UVC air recirculation device installed in the active OR setting is highly effective in reducing airborne bioburden To evaluate the effectiveness of the C-UVC air recirculation device in the clinical operating room setting ABX C-UVC units were installed in an active OR with standard positive pressure ventilation. The supply room in sterile instrument processing area was designated as clean area and utilized as an environmental setting control for comparison purposes.
Quantifications of viable airborne microorganisms were performed with C-UVC device in place. Samples were taken over the 4-hour period with device turned OFF (BASELINE) and ON (C-UVC). Two surrogate measures of microbial air contamination were used to evaluate air quality, the colony-forming units (CFU/m3) and viable particle counts (VPC/m3) respectively. During baseline condition in the OR (device-off; no C-UVC) the average bacterial counts were at 39 CFU/m3. Deployment of the C-UVC device produced significant decrease in air microbial burden as evidenced by sharp reduction in airborne bacteria counts to 7 CFU/m3 (= 82% reduction) (Figure 3). As expected, no improvement in bacterial counts was seen in the sterile processing area supply room due to initially low bacterial levels detected during baseline period (11 CFU/m3).