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Can UV Light Help Hospitals Fight Against Diseases Like MRSA?

MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) is a type of staph bacteria that’s resistant to commonly used antibiotics. Its most common effects include skin infection and life-threatening infections in the lungs, joints, bones, and heart valves. Due to this, MRSA in hospitals poses a serious risk to patients.

MRSA in Hospitals

MRSA can be found anywhere. However, it is commonly present in healthcare settings such as hospitals, urgent care facilities, and medical centers. Because of this, MRSA infection is common after surgery.

Research has shown that in the United States alone, every year, 1.7 million Americans get MRSA from their stay in hospitals. About 100,000 of these cases are fatal.

MRSA is usually transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, including open wounds, burns, and feeding tubes. However, contaminated surfaces in health care settings are significant contributors.

From bed rails and chairs to bathroom taps and towels, MRSA can thrive on any object for several weeks to months. This means that even after a patient has left the room and even if the hospital staff has cleaned it, the next patient staying in the room could potentially get exposure to it.

Patients who get MRSA infections have prolonged hospital stays. They often need to stay in the intensive care unit, significantly increasing healthcare costs.

This problem shows no signs of slowing down. Nonetheless, scientists are continually looking for new ways to battle and target pathogenic microbes.

Preventing MRSA In Hospitals with UV Light

To reduce the risk of transmission, disinfection and cleaning are critical in hospital environments.

Manual cleaning is inconsistent and not 100% efficient. Due to this, scientists have turned their attention to ultraviolet (UV) light as a way to combat this drug-resistant organism from lingering in patient rooms and causing new infections.

Hospitals can use UV light to fill in the gaps that regular cleaning misses. As we know, UV-C light is a human health hazard that can lead to skin cancer and cataracts. However, a portable UV-C device can serve as an additional disinfectant of the surfaces. Of course, the hospital staff should only use it after the patient has left the room and closed the corridor door. And the best part? UV-C light has proven to destroy 99.99% of bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens.

The results have offered a potential low-cost pathway towards eradicating infection rates at outdoor public spaces without risking the health and safety of patients and medical staff. In fact, studies state that UV light thas decreased the transmission of ‘superbugs’ by a whopping 30%!

As a result, utilizing UV cleansers is a responsible way of showing patients and their families that your hospital is dedicated to reducing infections as much as possible. It also helps meet their expectations for cleanliness.

It’s important to remember that ultraviolet surface-disinfecting devices are not a replacement for other cleaning practices such as washing hands, wearing gloves, or cleaning the hospital floors. Instead, UV light devices should be used as an additional method to enhance disinfection after surfaces have been manually cleaned.

Conclusion

Scientists are incredibly optimistic about the technology. Previously, there was no way of killing viruses in the air in public spaces. Yet, UV light is an approach that may solve this problem.

UV-C light is promising in its capabilities in killing pathogens and superbugs such as MRSA and the novel coronavirus. It can be more effective than regular chemicals such as bleach.

Nevertheless, further investigation should confirm its effectiveness in disinfecting the hospital environment. And like any new technology, UV light is still finding its way into hospitals as people become more comfortable with this new concept.

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