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UV technology is being implemented to reduce hospital infections

Hospital infections, or healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are a growing problem in facilities throughout the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on any given day, one out of every 25 patients has an HAI. Of even greater concern is that thousands of patients die every year from these infections.

To combat this growing epidemic, many hospitals and health care systems are implementing various methods to improve disinfection of facilities and medical equipment. One of these methods is through UV light technology systems.

The latest in UV technology is the Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots, which is currently in use at a few hospitals across the country. This includes United Hospital Center in Bridgeport, West Virginia, Henry Ford Health System, in Detroit, Michigan, and Scottsdale, Arizona-based HonorHealth, who has implemented the system in all of their hospitals.

Xenex robots use pulsed xenon UV light to disinfect entire rooms. They are faster and higher intensity than past technology systems and move easily from room to room. Unlike previous systems, which ran on mercury, the Xenex robots do not need to be warmed up and leave no odor behind after disinfecting is complete.

Research has shown that the xenon UV light systems are effective at hospital disinfection. A 2015 study by the American Journal of Infection Control found these systems to cause a 70 percent decrease in Clostridium difficile (C. diff), infection rates. C. diff is one of the primary pathogens that causes HAIs.

No matter what system is used, pulsed UV light technology may be an effective solution for hospital disinfection and the HAI epidemic.

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