New approaches to controlling infections

May 17, 2017

a female senior nurse or matron is  chatting to a young  a young student nurse is attending to the dressings trolley at the foot of a patient's bed . They are all defocussed apart from the patient's hand in the foreground.

Drug resistant bacteria are a consistent concern in hospitals and healthcare facilities. No matter how well your cleaning crew cleans, there are still going to be bacteria and spores left behind. Studies show that less than half of surfaces are disinfected properly in between patients. One study showed that 1 in 25 patients who go to a hospital will get a hospital-born infection, and of those patients, 1 in 9 will die from that infection. Because of the concerns of a post-antibiotic era, healthcare facilities are searching for other ways in which to prevent infections.



Sentara Healthcare hospitals in Virginia and North Carolina are using copper-infused bed linens, patient gowns, bedside tables and bedrails for all inpatient rooms. According to a study published in American Journal of Infection Control, hard surfaces and linens infused with copper-oxide compounds contributed to a 78% overall reduction in multidrug-resistant organisms, including C. diff, MRSA, and vancomycin-resistant enterococci. A second study is underway.


Although copper products do not kill 100% of germs, the results are impressive, and the products don’t require much in terms of changing protocols. All of the products can be cleaned using existing resources and processes, with the exception that no fabric softeners can be used on linens and polish cannot be used on copper-infused surfaces.



Henry Ford Health System and HonorHealth are taking a different, more space-age approach. They are deploying Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots across all of their hospitals. The robots use pulsed Xenon ultraviolet room disinfection technology to destroy deadly microorganisms like bacteria and spores. Basically, they flash a very intense UV light on all surfaces of the room, killing everything in sight.


Studies in peer-reviewed journals have shown that using the UV robots have led to a 50 to 100% reduction in C. diff, MRSA, and surgical site infection rates. The robots are not only thorough, but also efficient. According to customers, the robots take four to five minutes to work and can disinfect as many as 62 rooms a day.


With drug-resistant germs on the rise, every healthcare facility should take every measure when it comes to disinfection. For help on which approach will be best for your facility, contact Vanguard Resources.