A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report provides a scary snapshot of the threats posed by antibiotic-resistant germs in the U.S., with special focus paid to pathogens such as Clostridium difficile (C.diff) – termed an urgent threat, and Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) – considered serious.
According to the report, each year in the U.S., at least two million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections.
“Stopping infections before antibiotics are needed by destroying the deadly microorganisms that cause them is what can and should be done,” said Morris Miller, CEO of Xenex Disinfection Services. “Better hand hygiene and new antibiotics aren’t the only solutions — spores like C.diff can live in a patient room for 4-6 months. Xenex is the only UV disinfection company that’s been able to produce patient outcome data of hospitals experiencing fewer infections after using our devices to disinfect their facilities.”
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center recently conducted two studies to evaluate the efficacy of pulsed xenon UV light room disinfection on C.diff and VRE infection rates. In both studies, use of the Xenex UV room disinfection system (instead of bleach for rooms that housed patients with C. diff infections) resulted in a reduction in the number of patients contracting these infections. Shashank Ghantoji, M.D., M.P.H., a postdoctoral fellow at MD Anderson, presented the posters, “Utilizing Pulsed-Xenon UV as an Alternative to Sodium Hypochlorite for the Elimination of Clostridium difficile Spores in the Hospital Environment” and “Reducing Transmission of Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci (VRE) in an immunocompromised patient population: Implementing a Novel Pulsed-Xenon Ultraviolet Disinfection System in the Hospital Setting” in September 2013 at the Infection Prevention Society’s “Infection Prevention 2013” conference in London. Infection Prevention 2013 is the UK’s largest infection prevention and control event.
In many hospitals, C. diff is a primary pathogen of concern. Many patients, especially those on antibiotics, are susceptible to C. diff, which can live for up to five months on surfaces in the hospital. A person with C. diff contaminates his or her hospital room and bathroom, leaving C. diff spores on the walls, handles and other high-touch surfaces. Contamination of the patient environment by C.diff is a challenge that poses an increased risk for transmission to the next occupant.
Xenex Proved Better Than C. diff Standard for Cleaning
The current standard for C. diff surface decontamination in the healthcare setting is a bleach solution, which may damage hospital materials and may create a toxic environment for hospital workers. Xenex’s pulsed xenon UV light room disinfection system has been repeatedly proven effective against C. diff in the laboratory and in patient outcome results at hospitals utilizing Xenex devices. MD Anderson conducted a study in 2012 which demonstrated that Xenex’s pulsed xenon UV light “robot” is as good as bleach for C. diff reduction. As a result, MD Anderson began utilizing a pulsed xenon UV light room disinfection system as an alternative to bleach in January 2013, and tracked hospital-associated C. diff cases in order to assess if this substitution would have an adverse effect on the rate of hospital-associated C. diff infections. After switching to pulsed xenon UV for room cleaning, C. diff rates at MD Anderson decreased by 26 percent.
Xenex Proved Better than Standard for VRE Cleaning
In the VRE study, the Xenex room disinfection device was implemented as part of a routine disinfection protocol of VRE isolation rooms after terminal cleaning on the Leukemia and Stem Cell Transplant (SCT) units in January 2013. Patients that occupy a room after a VRE patient are more likely to develop VRE than other patients. A previous study performed at MD Anderson showed that the Xenex UV disinfection device was superior to manual cleaning at eliminating environmental VRE contamination. The aim of this study was to determine if the use of pulsed xenon UV room disinfection has an impact on rates of hospital associated-VRE (HA-VRE) infections. The decrease in HA-VRE infections on the SCT units was substantial and in fact, there were no cases of HA-VRE infections on the units for five months after implementing the system. HA-VRE infection rates on the SCT units decreased by 100 percent and on the Leukemia units, the VRE infection rates decreased by 18 percent.
“The results presented in these studies are significant because they demonstrate that using pulsed xenon UV room disinfection technology to eliminate pathogens in the patient environment can lead to a reduction in patient infections,” said Dr. Mark Stibich, Chief Scientific Officer for Xenex. “These studies validate what we are hearing from many hospitals in the U.S. that are using the Xenex room disinfection system.”
About Xenex Disinfection Services
Xenex’s patented pulsed xenon UV room disinfection system is a pesticidal device used for the advanced cleaning of healthcare facilities. Due to its speed and ease of use, the Xenex system has proven to integrate smoothly into hospital cleaning operations. The Xenex mission is to eliminate harmful bacteria, viruses and spores that can cause hospital acquired infections in the patient environment, and to become the new standard method for disinfection in healthcare facilities worldwide. For more information, visit www.xenex.com.