This article is translated from Dutch

UV-C light at healthcare facilities

A well-regulated and safe healthcare facility, of course everyone wants that. But how do you realize that in a hospital or healthcare facility where patients, doctors, care staff and visitors constantly cross paths. Everyone carries bacteria with them and their transmission is so done. In fact, pathogens spread easily through the air and through people and objects, so how do you make sure they are rendered harmless? You can do that with UV-C light.

Desinfecteren gezondheidszorg

The importance of disinfection and how to use UV-C light

The past couple of years have demonstrated just how important proper disinfection is. The coronavirus pandemic showed us all how easily some pathogens can spread. All kinds of measures were taken to slow down the spread of the virus: cough into the crook of your elbow, don't shake people’s hands, keep 1.5 metres’ distance from others, wear a face mask, disinfect your hands frequently, make sure your room is well ventilated, etc. But how can such rules be enforced in an environment where patients need to be cared for? Additional measures must be implemented to prevent people from infecting one another in hospitals or healthcare institutions. UV-C light can help in such environments because it is a fast, effective and safe way to eliminate micro-organisms. Read more about it in this article.

Applications for healthcare facilities

Equipment that has come in contact with a patient, or beds or tables on which patients have lain, must be disinfected so that the next person lying on them will not be infected by whatever virus the previous patient may have been carrying. However, this process can be rather time-consuming for staff and is therefore often omitted – an alarming idea, but all too true, unfortunately. This is why more and more products are being marketed that can help staff with their cleaning tasks, such as robots that enter the OR after an operation and disinfect all the surfaces there by means of UV-C light. Another such product is our D25, which nursing staff can use to quickly disinfect infusion pumps or thermometers.

What methods are currently being used?

Currently, there are often manual alternatives that are simply too cumbersome and inaccurate to contribute to a safe healthcare facility. You have to think of the method where a disinfection wipe is used to disinfect a product or surface. If you really want the number of microorganisms to decrease and become inactive, this will take several minutes. Disinfection wipes often contain alcohol, and exposure to alcohol renders the virus harmless. However, alcohol does take a while to pass through a virus' protein layer, about 2 minutes. In addition, alcohol does not pass through dirt and grease, so even with disinfecting wipes, pre-cleaning is mandatory. Hence, disinfection with wipes is not really user-friendly.

Manual cleaning.

With validated UV-C light products, this manual and error-sensitive process disappears and you can guarantee a certain log reduction. And precisely this is necessary for a safe care facility. With the advent of these types of products, care personnel can be relieved of the burden of fighting pathogens. By automating the disinfection process and making it easy to deploy, a time-consuming process falls away for them. They can then fully focus on what they are trained to do, which is care and well-being of the patient.

If you’d like to learn more about UV-C light, be sure to read ‘How to Use UV-C light Safely’.

Michiel van Schelven
Lead Product Engineer