Xenex makes case for more frequent operating theatre disinfection

7-Apr-2017

Xenex says a two minute run-time using its LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots between operations for operating theatre disinfection is effective in reducing bioburden

Operating rooms need to be germ free environments, but studies show that they remain contaminated with microscopic pathogens that can cause Surgical Site Infections (SSI) even after they have been cleaned.

SSIs, which are some of the most commonly occurring infections, can be devastating to patients and create additional costs for patient care in hospitals.

Xenex Disinfection Services’ LightStrike pulsed xenon Full Spectrum ultraviolet (UV) disinfection technology has been proven to quickly destroy the germs and bacteria in Operating Rooms (OR) that cause SSIs.

Hundreds of hospitals use LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots during the terminal cleaning process in the OR after the day’s procedures are complete. Xenex recommends running the robot for two 8- or 10-minute positions (depending on robot model) during the terminal clean. Multiple positions greatly reduces the impact of shadows on UV disinfection efficacy.

Studies show, however, that bioburden increases in the OR during the day. A US medical institution recently studied the effectiveness of the Xenex LightStrike robot in its ORs and found that the LightStrike robot can effectively disinfect high touch surfaces in an OR in two minutes.

This short cycle time may make between-case cleaning in the OR a viable option and something hospitals should consider operationalising within their protocol.

“Running a quick cycle in between cases can be very effective at bringing down the vegetative bacteria bioburden in the OR,” said Dr Sarah Simmons, Science Director, Xenex. “The LightStrike robot turns on instantly (no warm-up or cool down time) so it can be brought into the OR to quickly disinfect the area around the surgical table in between procedures.”

Xenex says two hospitals experienced significant reductions in their SSI rates after they began using LightStrike to disinfect their ORs and published their results in peer-reviewed journals, crediting the Xenex disinfection robot for the role it played in those reductions.

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“Hospitals considering UV disinfection technology need to carefully evaluate the clinical evidence that the technology is effective in the hospital setting – which means peer-reviewed studies that show how a hospital has experienced a decrease in infection rates after using a UV disinfection system,“ said Dr Mark Stibich, Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of Xenex.

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