Universal decontamination of hospital surfaces in an occupied inpatient room with a continuous 405 nm light source

Bache, S.E. and MacLean, M. and Gettinby, G. and Anderson, J.G. and MacGregor, S.J. and Taggart, I. (2018) Universal decontamination of hospital surfaces in an occupied inpatient room with a continuous 405 nm light source. Journal of Hospital Infection, 98 (1). pp. 67-73. ISSN 0195-6701 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2017.07.010)

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Background Previous work has shown that a ceiling-mounted, 405 nm high-intensity narrow-spectrum light environmental decontamination system (HINS-light EDS) reduces bacterial contamination of environmental surfaces in a burns unit by between 27% and 75%. Examination of the efficacy of the light over extended exposure times and its probable mode of action was performed. Aims Studies were designed to ascertain the correlation between bacterial kill achieved on sampled surface sites around the Burns Unit and both irradiance levels of the 405 nm light, and exposure time. Method Seventy samples were taken using contact agar plates from surfaces within an occupied side room in the burns unit before, during and after a seven day use of the HINS-light EDS. This was repeated in three separate studies. Statistical analysis determined if there was significant decrease in environmental contamination during prolonged periods of HINS-light treatment, and if there was a relationship between irradiance and bacterial kill. Findings A decrease of between 22% and 86% in the mean number of surface bacteria was shown during the use of the HINS-light EDS. When the light ceased to be used, increases of between 78% and 309% occurred. There was no correlation between bacterial kill and irradiance levels at each sampling site but strong correlation between bacterial kill and exposure time. Conclusions Prolonged exposure to the HINS-light EDS causes a cumulative decontamination of the surfaces within a burns unit. The importance of exposure time and possible airborne effect over irradiance levels is emphasised.