Friday, November 15, 2013

New Device Uses UV Light to Increase Disinfection of Medical Environments

Xenex.jpg
 
The device in the photo above may just have the ability to radically change your next hospital visit.  No, it's not a robotic surgery unit (although those do exist).  It's not something that shoots laser beams (although it does use light).  No, the device, manufactured by a company called Xenex uses ultraviolet light to kill bacteria & viruses.  The UV light is actually UVC which is different than UVA and UVB.  The A and B wavelengths penetrate the atmosphere and cause skin to tan in response to exposure.  C is reflected by the ozone in the upper atmosphere and goes back out into space.  Since UVC does not reach the surface of our planet, simple organisms like bacteria & viruses do not have any defense mechanism to protect themselves from it.
 
The Xenex machine produces UVC in pulsed doses that are 25,000X more powerful than those that are produced by the sun.
 
Why would a company create a machine like this and even more important, why would hospitals be buying it?  The reason is the term "Noscomial Infection" or HAI (standing for Hospital Acquired Infection).  The official definition is:  an infection whose development is favoured by a hospital environment, such as one acquired by a patient during a hospital visit or one developing among hospital staff. Such infections include fungal and bacterial infections and are aggravated by the reduced resistance of individual patients.

Basically, anytime you are in an environment where your immune system is weakened and you are surrounded by sick people, there is a  high risk of catching a bug.

The Xenex device kills lots of different kinds of viruses and bacteria including clostridium difficult ( C. Diff) which helps keep patients safer and helps decrease the odds of a HAI.


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