By Mark Young, SouthFloridaReporter.com Managing Editor, Jan. 1, 2016 – You’re probably familiar with the movie ‘Star Wars’ and all the laser battles. A similar battle is taking place in hospitals, only the UV rays being emitted are killing germs and not people or storm troopers. The robot being used also has an eerie similarity to R2D2.
It’s a new device being tested by the Mayo Clinic for use in hospitals.
Mayo Clinic: A new government report this month says the rate of hospital-acquired infections has dropped 17 percent since 2010. Unfortunately, the rate held steady last year, and it’s estimated that 1 in 10 patients will still contract an infection while hospitalized in the United States. Mayo Clinic has been testing a high-tech solution.
Here’s Dennis Douda with today’s Mayo Clinic Minute.
Here’s the script:
Dennis Douda: Mayo Clinic is shining a powerful new light on its efforts to reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections; ultraviolet, or UV, devices that blast disease-causing microbes.
Priya Sampathkumar, M.D. Chair of Infection Control Committee, Mayo Clinic: “There are approximately 900 patients dying of hospital-acquired infections each day in the United States.”
Dennis Douda speaking: One serious health care-associated infection is caused by a bacteria called clostridium difficile, or C diff. It can cause diarrhea, fever and severe gastrointestinal complications. Even with disinfectant use, its spores are very stubborn, capable of surviving on surfaces for months.Which is why Mayo Clinic conducted a study of UV disinfection. Its ultraviolet-C wavelength of light can kill a wide variety of germs, and penetrate areas most cleaning techniques can’t reach.
Dr. Sampathkumar speaking: “The C. difficile rate on the units treated with UV light had gone down by 30 percent.”
Dennis Douda speaking: Naturally, patient restrooms get a blast of UV light as well. Mayo now has plans to deploy additional UV devices to other C. diff hotspots. For more health news, visit the Mayo Clinic News Network. I’m Dennis Douda.