Understanding UV technology mechanism
UV technololgy kills disease-causing microbes using electromagnetic radiation at specific wavelengths. The wavelength of UV varies but typically ranges between 200-280nm. At this wavelength, UV possesses germicidal effects by destroying the nucleic acids and DNA of pathogens exposed to it.
By eliminating the DNA of microbes, UV inhibits cell division and prevents the multiplication and spread of pathogens in high-risk environments. UV can disrupt the protein molecules in the walls of microbes like viruses. The destruction of the microbial walls weakens the pathogen and makes it easy to eliminate from surfaces and medical devices.
UV technology has the potential to eliminate various types of microbes, such as:
- Bacteria: E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, etc.
- Viruses: Influenza, SARS-CoV-2, etc.
- Fungi: Candida, Aspergillus, etc.
- Protozoa: Giardia, Cryptosporidium
Therefore, UV technology will be most valuable for disinfection high-risk areas in the hospital and preventing the spread of disease-causing pathogens among healthcare workers and patients.
Case studies of successful UV technology implementation in destroying microorganisms.
Generally, UV technology disinfection is harmless for humans and all materials, making it suitable for most healthcare settings.
Different healthcare organizations, such as medical centers, scientific laboratories, and universities, have successfully used UV technology to disinfect and control the spread of disease-causing pathogens.
Scientists at Spaarne Gasthuis, a medical center in the Netherlands, compared the efficacy of UV disinfection with standard washer disinfectors. The scientists concluded that UV disinfection met the reduction requirements for various drug-resistant bacteria strains. Also, compared to the standard washer disinfectant, UV disinfection revealed a significant improvement in the disinfection process.
Researchers at Marburg University used UV radiation to disinfect a series of rigid and flexible ENT endoscopes. After the disinfection process, the researchers found that UV radiation achieved a marked reduction in decontaminating the endoscopes. In addition, the UV disinfection was more efficient than other methods.
The ENT outpatient clinic in Elisabeth-Tweesteden Hospital (ETZ) located in Tilburg commenced the use of UV technology to disinfect their channel-less ENT endoscopes in the department.
In a chat with UV Smart, a representative from the clinic reported that UV technology disinfected a large number of flexible channel-less ENT endoscopes effectively within 60 seconds, and it was more economical than the previous disinfection method.
These case studies reveal that the use of UV radiation to eliminate microbes from surfaces and medical instruments can protect individuals at population levels.
The role of UV technology in preventing outbreaks and public health protection
The environment in most hospitals or medical centers typically contains drug-resistant organisms that cause hospital-acquired infection-this is an infection that occurs within the first 48 hours or 30 days of receiving care in a healthcare facility. Hospital-acquired infection accounts for some of the preventable deaths in the US and most countries.
The Center for Disease Control states that approximately 1.7 million hospitalized patients annually have hospital-acquired infections, and 98,000 patients (1 in 17) die from these infections.
This figure indicates the need for strict infection control in the hospital to protect the health of the public.
UV technology has a broad spectrum of activity against various pathogens, making it suitable for preventing the transmission of infection-causing microbes in at-risk healthcare settings. Therefore, healthcare workers, especially surgeons, physicians, and infection control experts, will benefit from incorporating UV radiation for disinfecting the following:
- High risk areas such as operating rooms
- Medical instruments or devices
- Contaminated surfaces on equipment
By killing pathogens and limiting the spread of diseases, UV technology plays a critical role in preventing disease outbreaks, saving lives, and reducing morbidity at population levels.
UV technology has a wide spectrum of antimicrobial activity against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. These features make it an excellent choice for disinfecting contaminated surfaces and medical devices in the hospital.
Several medical centers and laboratories have tested UV technology for disinfection and found it to be effective and efficient in eliminating pathogens.
Healthcare professionals and infection control experts can explore the power of UV disinfection to control and reduce the spread of disease causing organisms in the hospital.