This week we were going to post about springtime allergies and allergens but with the cold weather still remaining this week and the new estimated rate of infection data out we decided to make a last minute adjustment! Stay tuned for next weeks discussion on allergens!
On Wednesday new federal data was released stating that 1 in 25 patients will get a hospital acquired infection (HAI) while in the hospital. This is something that healthcare professionals have been researching and taking very seriously for years. But where did these numbers come from? The Center for Disease Control issued two reports this week, one was a yearly progress report on the fight to lower hospital acquired infection rates and the other from data collected in 2011.
Hospital acquired infections are obviously preventable, but the scary thing is they still happen often. Over 721,000 times a year to 648,000 patients as reported by the CDC in the New England Journal of Medicine, and of those 648,000 about 11% ultimately die for the infection. Those numbers coming from the first report data collected from 183 hospitals in 10 states in 2011.
The second report that was released this week focused more directly on where progress has and has not been made. Some numbers were encouraging such as the infection rate of 10 common surgeries declined 20% and tubes placed in the arm, neck, or chest, called central lines, saw a 44% infection rate decline in the years of 2008-2012. Though, in the same time frame urinary catheter infections rose by 4%. Michael Bell, a doctor at the CDC, explains "But the trend looks like there are fewer infections" and "It makes sense because of all the efforts we've made to reduce infections."
The numbers do show development in the right direction for HAI's but many argue that while these are steps in the right direction they are not enough. There are still places of drastic improvement like the limiting of C. diff. Bell went on to explain that there are over 250,000 cases of C. Diff a year with 14,000 deaths.
While improvements are happening, and accountability is growing among healthcare providers there is clearly room for improvement. One way is looking at more ways to improve infection rates or providing more disinfection capabilities. Ultraviolet UVC technology can be incredibly beneficial. The Journal of Bones & Joint Surgery ran an article discussing such matters in 2008 testing the change from laminar air flow to ultraviolet air filtration! The authors, Merrill Ritter MD, Emily Olberding, BS, and Robert Malinzak MD, take a study conducted over a 19 year period and analyze the results. In this specific study, one surgeon conducted 5,980 joint replacement surgeries from 1986 to 2005, at The Center for Hip and Knee Surgery, St. Francis Hospital in Mooresville, IN, and in September of 1991 ultraviolet lighting was installed in the operating room as opposed to laminar airflow. After installation laminar airflow was not used at all. Ultraviolet lighting is designed to kill the bacteria in the environment while laminar airflow filters and creates a reduction in the amount of bacteria in the air. The infection rate without ultraviolet lighting (laminar airflow) was 1.77%, while the infection rate with ultraviolet lighting was 0.57%. Odds of infection were 3.1 times more likely when not using ultraviolet lighting, the infection rate of total hip replacement went from 1.03% with laminar airflow to 0.72% with ultraviolet lighting. Additionally, the rate for infection during total knee replacement lowered from 2.20% to .50% with the use of ultraviolet technology. “When appropriate safety precautions are taken, ultraviolet lighting appears to be an effective way to lower the risk of infection in the operating room during total joint replacement surgery" (Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, 2008). Why is this important? It demonstrates the benefit of ultraviolet technology by actually killing the bacteria/contaminants as opposed to simply reducing the amount of these DNA based airborne contaminants in the operative environment.
UVC has also demonstrated to be capable of killing spores in worrisome spore forming bacteria like C. diff and MRSA as well as man other bacteria, viruses, and fungi!
To learn more about the information listed above please check out our germicidal document library!
2014 will be our 14th year of exhibiting at the AHR Expo. We are proud to again put on display our dependable and innovative UVC equipment for the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) industry. The 2014 Expo is being held at the Javits Convention Center in New York City from January 21st-23rd, 2014, and you’ll find American Ultraviolet in Booth #2339.
The AHR Expo is the world’s largest HVACR event and a great place to find out what’s new in this ever-developing field. American Ultraviolet will be displaying our current line of UVC equipment designed specifically for HVACR applications, as well as participating in the ASHRAE Winter Meeting, which is held in conjunction with the AHR EXPO. By participating on ASHRAE committees, American Ultraviolet is able to assist in creating appropriate standards of use and safety considerations involved in using UV technology in this field. That’s where our 53 years of experience in manufacturing UV equipment really comes in handy.
As always, we will have a staff of experts in UVC applications available in our booth each day to answer your questions, and to show you what’s new at American Ultraviolet; as well as to discuss any custom or unusual applications you may be interested in.We are always looking to meet new people, and love bringing new representatives and distributors on board to service areas where greater coverage is needed.