UV Light for
Healthcare Disinfection

The Importance of Disinfecting Healthcare Spaces

Disinfection of the healthcare environment is a shared goal of all involved in healthcare. Penetration of the skin as a natural first line defense with open wounds, catheters, lines, etc. may allow pathogens to enter the body. Antibiotics alter the microbial milieu and and select for multidrug resistant organisms. Patients’ immune systems may be compromised by both underlying disease and treatments.

Barrier protection of healthcare workers benefits both patients and healthcare workers and is complementary to environmental bioburden reduction.

UV light has become an increasingly popular adjunct solution for disinfection in the healthcare environment because it is highly effective at killing a wide range of pathogens. UV light works by damaging the DNA of microorganisms by forming “dimers”, which prevents them from reproducing and eventually kills them. Unlike other disinfection methods, UV light does not require the use of chemicals or water, which makes it safer and more environmentally friendly. UV light also has a rapid disinfection time, which means that it can quickly disinfect large areas in a short amount of time, but only if used correctly.

Did You Know that Dimer’s UVHammer is the Only UV Disinfection Solution Designed by an Active Physician?

“Actual infection of a patient is multifactorial with environmental and host factors influencing outcomes. Rarely are we able to definitively determine the source of the infection. The importance of healthcare worker hand-washing was one of the great discoveries in medicine, as hands touch both the environment and the patient”.

Dr. Arthur Kreitenberg, MD, FACS

Co-founder & CTO, Dimer UV

Keep a look out for pro tips from orthopedic surgeon and Dimer co-founder Dr. Arthur Kreitenberg

UVC Dosage Chart for Common Healthcare Pathogens

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Learn How UV Disinfection Can Help in the Following Healthcare Settings:

Operating Rooms

UV (Ultraviolet) light is used for disinfecting operating rooms as it is a powerful tool that can help to kill bacteria, viruses, and other harmful microorganisms. An advantage of UV light disinfection is that unlike chemicals, it tends to disperse broadly into the space and there is no wet/dwell time.

When patients undergo surgery, they are exposed to the risk of infections, including skin penetration and stress factors. For example, “traffic” in the OR, as determined by the number of door openings can increase environmental contamination, and should be minimized to help reduce environmental contamination.

UV light disinfection is also a chemical-free and eco-friendly method of disinfection. It does not produce any harmful byproducts or residues that may be harmful to the environment or people’s health.

Emergency Rooms & ICUs

UV light disinfection can be a valuable tool for disinfecting emergency rooms and ICU environments as it can quickly and effectively kill harmful microorganisms that may be present on environmental surfaces. Emergency rooms and ICUs are high-traffic areas where patients with various illnesses and injuries come for treatment.

Patient Rooms

UV light disinfection can be a useful tool for disinfecting patient rooms in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Patients deserve an environment with optimal reduction of pathogen bioburden, in a patient room including the bathroom.

Chemicals are only approved for “hard, nonporous” surfaces. However, microbial reductions on curtains, vinyl upholstery, and other soft healthcare surfaces can be achieved with UVC light, but only when properly applied. This means overcoming UVC’s limitations of distance, line of sight and shadowing.

Labs & Radiology

UV light disinfection can be an effective tool for labs and radiology rooms in healthcare facilities. These areas are often used for diagnostic and treatment purposes and are therefore prone to contamination by harmful microorganisms. The same issues exist in procedure rooms, waiting rooms, pre- & post-operative units, rehabilitation, and nursing home facilities.

UV light disinfection can be useful for disinfecting surfaces that are difficult to clean with traditional methods, such as touch-screen monitors and other equipment used in imaging procedures and lab equipment that can be sensitive to chemical disinfectants.

Common Areas & Offices

UV light disinfection can be an effective tool for disinfecting common areas and medical offices in healthcare facilities. Common areas such as waiting rooms, hallways, and elevators are high-traffic areas where patients and healthcare workers may come into contact with harmful microorganisms. Medical offices, including exam rooms and administrative areas, can also be contaminated with harmful microorganisms.

Labs & Radiology

UV light disinfection can be an effective tool for disinfecting labs and radiology rooms in healthcare facilities. These areas are often used for diagnostic and treatment purposes and are therefore prone to contamination by harmful microorganisms. The same issues exist in procedure rooms, waiting rooms, pre- & post-operative units, rehabilitation, and nursing home facilities.UV light disinfection can be useful for disinfecting surfaces and equipment that are difficult to clean with traditional methods, such as touch-screen monitors and other equipment used in imaging procedures and lab equipment that can be sensitive to chemical disinfectants.

Common Areas & Offices

UV light disinfection can be an effective tool for disinfecting common areas and medical offices in healthcare facilities. Common areas such as waiting rooms, hallways, and elevators are high-traffic areas where patients and healthcare workers may come into contact with harmful microorganisms. Medical offices, including exam rooms and administrative areas, can also be contaminated with harmful microorganisms.

Best Practices for Healthcare Disinfection: Chemical & UV Light

Germicidal light technology is currently considered as an “adjunct” to chemical disinfection. However, peer-reviewed studies have shown environmental services personnel using chemical disinfectants can fail to disinfect 50% or more of the likely contaminated surfaces in a room[*,**]. Therefore, germicidal light may act alone on some surfaces to protect patients from environmental surface pathogens where chemical disinfectants may not apply.

Here are some best practices for disinfecting healthcare facilities:

1. Use the Right Combination of Products: Chemicals + UV Light

For disinfectants choose ones that are EPA-registered and specifically designed for use in healthcare facilities. Follow best practices for storage, dilution, application, dwell times and disposal. Make sure the product label indicates that it is effective against the pathogens you want to target.

For UV applications, choose a machine that disinfects both horizontal and vertical surfaces, minimizes the distance to the target, optimizes the angle, provides sufficient UV doses and prevents cross contamination.

2. Follow Product Instructions

 For chemical disinfection always follow the product instructions for proper dilution, application, dwell times and disposal. Failure to do so can reduce the effectiveness of the disinfectant. For UV remember two key factors; UV light can only disinfect what it can directly see and the closer you are to the target surface the faster you can sufficiently disinfect that surface.

3. Pay Attention to High-Touch Surfaces

Focus on frequently touched surfaces, such as bed rails, handles, doorknobs, light switches, sink faucets, computers, telephones, chairs, countertops, tables and floor surfaces. These areas should be cleaned and disinfected more frequently than other surfaces.

Pro Tip: Airborne Infectious Agents Do Not Stay Airborne 

For airborne infectious agents, such as respiratory viruses (influenza, Covid, etc.)
the viral particles land on a surface and can become airborne and infectious
again
 with perturbations. Conversely, airborne bacteria such as staph can
land onto a fomite surface like a table top or a wound. The way to “break the cycle” is to disinfect surfaces regularly
and to have a plan for frequent room air exchanges/filters, etc.

4. Establish a Cleaning Protocol: Chemicals First, Followed by UV Light Disinfection

Create a regular cleaning protocol that includes routine cleaning and disinfection of all critical surfaces and patient rooms.

5. Use Personal Protective Equipment

Wear gloves and other appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when cleaning and disinfecting. This will protect personnel from exposure to harmful chemicals and infectious agents.

6. Train Staff

Train all healthcare facility staff on proper cleaning and disinfection procedures. Make sure everyone knows how to use both the disinfectants and UV equipment correctly and how to handle potentially infectious materials.

7. Monitor & Document

Monitor the cleaning and disinfection process to ensure that it is being done correctly. Document the process to provide evidence of compliance with infection control guidelines.

Not All UV Disinfection Solutions are Created Equal

Choose a solution that follows the 3 most important fundamental principles of UV:

1. Minimize Distance
2. Optimize Angle
3. Eliminate Shadows

Effectiveness of Healthcare Disinfection Systems

Effectiveness of Healthcare Disinfection Systems

Factors that Contribute to the Effectiveness of Healthcare Disinfection Systems

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Proper Use & Maintenance

Healthcare disinfection systems and methods must be used correctly in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions for use and maintained according to manufacturer recommendations to ensure optimal performance. This includes using the correct concentration and application of disinfectant chemicals, properly calibrating UV light systems, and regularly replacing filters and other components.

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Coverage & Exposure Time

Disinfection systems must be able to effectively cover and disinfect all surfaces and equipment within a given area. Exposure time is also crucial, as disinfectants must be in contact with surfaces for the sufficient period as directed to kill or eliminate harmful microorganisms. Chemical disinfectants generally require longer dwell times than proper exposure by germicidal light.

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Compatibility with Materials

Over time, users expect chemical disinfectants to cause changes and damage to certain materials, such as plastics or fabrics. Healthcare disinfection systems and methods must be designed and tested for their compatibility with a wide range of materials commonly found in healthcare settings. Older UV systems have similar issues due to inconsistent dosing in a room. New, proper UV dose delivery methods can prevent it.

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Effectiveness Against Target Microorganisms

Healthcare disinfection systems must be proven effective against the specific types of microorganisms they are designed to target, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. If a disinfection method is intended to treat many potentially contaminated surfaces in a space, there must be evidence demonstrating that product is capable of delivering the desired germicidal effect to each potentially contaminated target.

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Coverage & Exposure Time

Disinfection systems must be able to effectively cover and disinfect all surfaces and equipment within a given area. Exposure time is also crucial, as disinfectants must be in contact with surfaces for the sufficient period as directed to kill or eliminate harmful microorganisms. Chemical disinfectants generally require longer dwell times than proper exposure by germicidal light.

Pro Tip:


UV Light is Safe for Materials Often Used in Healthcare Settings

However, overdosing is a common problem typically caused by long exposure times to nearby surfaces; long exposures are neccesary to overcome distances to effectively reach faraway surfaces.

Closer = Faster = No Overdosing

An Effective UV Disinfection Machine Should Meet Several Key Requirements

1. Effective UV-C wavelength:

The machine should emit UV-C light with a wavelength between 200 and 280 nanometers (nm), as this is the most effective range for killing bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens.

Dimer: 254nm wavelength 

2. Correct dosage:

The machine should emit enough UV-C light to achieve a sufficient dose to kill the targeted pathogens. The dose required depends on the type of pathogen and the surface or object being disinfected.

Dimer: Delivers 27 mJ/cm² at walking speed, capable of delivering 100+ mJ/cm² in seconds

3. Proper Distance & Angle:

The machine should be positioned at the proper distance and angle to ensure that the UV-C light reaches all surfaces and areas that need to be disinfected. Minimal distance and perpendicular angle of incidence produce the most effective germicidal exposure

Dimer: Variable angle wing allows the operator to deliver light within inches of any surface at the ideal angle

4. Proper Exposure Time:

The targeted pathogens need to be exposed to the UV-C light for a sufficient amount of time in order to receive the dosage required for effective deactivation. The exposure time needed also depends on the type of pathogen, the surface or object being disinfected, and the distance from the light source to the target. If the UVC device is moved half the distance to the surface, exposure time drops 75%!

Remember Closer = Much Faster!

5. Safety features:

The machine should include safety features to prevent accidental exposure of people and pets to the UV-C light. This may include shielding, personal protective equipment, motion sensors or timers that shut off the machine if someone enters the room.

Dimer: UVHammer comes equipped with a patented impervious UVC shield and touch-sensitive handles to protect the operator and unexpected bystanders

6. Durability:

The machine should be built to last and withstand regular use, as well as be easy to clean and maintain.

Dimer: Manufactured in the U.S.A using high quality materials and components

7. Compliance with regulations:

The machine should comply with any and all applicable regulations and standards for UV-C disinfection, including those set by regulatory bodies such as the EPA and FDA, or other standards-writing organizations.

Introducing the UVHammer

The Only UV Disinfection Solution with a Variable-Angle Wing Designed to get Inches from Any Surface at Any Angle!

 

UV has been a staple for healthcare disinfection for more than 50 years. However, stationary UV towers are inherently flawed as most don’t follow the fundamental principles of UV that enable them to effectively treat both horizontal and vertical surfaces, prevent cross-contamination, minimize overdosing and treat surfaces fast and effectively. 

Book Virtual DemoLearn More

Introducing the UVHammer

The Only UV Disinfection Solution with a Variable-Angle Wing Designed to get Inches from Any Surface at Any Angle!

UV has been a staple for healthcare disinfection for more than 50 years. However, stationary UV towers are inherently flawed as most don’t follow the fundamental principles of UV that enable them to effectively treat both horizontal and vertical surfaces, prevent cross-contamination, minimize overdosing and treat surfaces fast and effectively.

Disinfect an Operating Room in 5-12 Minutes
No Cycle Times
No Required Overdosing Protects Materials
Patented Variable Angle UVC Wing
Disinfects Top & Underside of Surfaces
Battery Powered/Cordless
Floor & Wheel Disinfection

Patented UVC Shield Requires No Additional PPE

Integrated Safety Features
Interchangeable Medical-Grade Batteries
References
  1. CDC. 2015. “Norovirus Illness: Key Facts.” January 2015. https://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/downloads/keyfacts.pdf.
  2. CDC. 2019. “Cleaning and Disinfection | MRSA | CDC.” February 27, 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/community/environment/index.html.
  3. CDC. 2021. “Healthcare Professionals FAQ | Candida Auris | Fungal Diseases | CDC.” April 9, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/candida-auris/c-auris-health-qa.html.
  4. Centeleghe, I.; Norville, P.; Hughes, L.; and Jean-Yves Maillard. 2023. “Klebsiella Pneumoniae Survives on Surfaces as a Dry Biofilm.” American Journal of Infection Control, March. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2023.02.009.
  5. Claro, T.; Daniels, S.; and Humphreys, H. 2014. “Detecting Clostridium Difficile Spores from Inanimate Surfaces of the Hospital Environment: Which Method Is Best?” Journal of Clinical Microbiology 52 (9): 3426–28. https://doi.org/10.1128/jcm.01011-14.
  6. Cleveland Clinic Medical. 2020. “E. Coli Infection.” Cleveland Clinic. September 21, 2020. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16638-e-coli-infection.
  7. Hepatitis A questions and answers for health professionals. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/havfaq.htm. Accessed June 30, 2023.

  8. Jefferson J, Whelan R, Dick B, Carling P, A novel technique for identifying Opportunities to Improve Environmental Hygiene in the Operating Room. AORN J, March 2011 (93) 3, 358-364. 4.
  9. Malayeri, A.J.; Mohseni, M.; Cairns,B.; and Bolton, J.R. 2016. “Fluence (UV Dose) Required to Achieve Incremental Log Inactivation of Bacteria, Protozoa, Viruses and Algae.” ResearchGate, September. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/309385062_Fluence_UV_Dose_Required_to_Achieve_Incremental_Log_Inactivation_of_Bacteria_Protozoa_Viruses_and_Algae.
  10. Masjoudi, M, Mohseni, M, Bolton J, Sensitivity of Bacteria, Protozoa, Viruses, and Other
    Microorganisms to Ultraviolet Radiation, J. NIST, Vol 126, Article No. 126021 (2021)
    https://doi.org/10.6028/jres.126.021
  11. Medeiros, EA, Ribeiro, RM, Escudero DV, Alves JC, Macedo B, Ferreira DB, do Oliveira V, Santos, RP, Matias LO, Maia MM, Freires FJ, Ferreira VM, Almeida TM Machado FR, High-touch surfaces disinfection compliance in a COVID-19 intensive care unit, (in press) American Journal of Infection Control 000 (2022) 1−3.
  12. MPH Online. 2021. “Surfaces and CovId-19: A Public Health Perspective – MPH Online.” April 8, 2021. https://www.mphonline.org/coronavirus-live-on-surfaces/
  13. Public Health Agency of Canada. 2012. “Pathogen Safety Data Sheets: Infectious Substances – Pseudomonas Spp.” Canada.Ca. April 30, 2012. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/laboratory-biosafety-biosecurity/pathogen-safety-data-sheets-risk-assessment/pseudomonas.html.
  14. UIHC.org. 2017. “Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus (VRE).” University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, July. https://uihc.org/health-topics/vancomycin-resistant-enterococcus-vre.
  15. Winkelhake H. How long does the cold virus live on surfaces? Norton Children’s Posted: January 20, 2020, https://nortonchildrens.com/news/how-long-does-the-cold-virus-live-on-surfaces/