Seeing the light on room disinfection
The TRU-D system self-adjusts to the size and content dynamics of any room
As healthcare acquired infections continue to plague hospitals, national governments are raising funds to advance the development of new technologies that will beat the bugs. Susan Birks reports on some recent initiatives on both sides of the Atlantic and at studies involving UV hospital disinfection systems.
With the emergence of drug-resistant infections and new pathogens in healthcare settings, new strategies to detect and reduce healthcare associated infections (HAIs) are ever more critical. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1 out of 20 hospitalised patients will acquire an infection while receiving healthcare treatment. For this reason the CDC is awarding US$10m for new research to five academic medical centres as part of its Prevention Epicenter grant programme, which supports the development of innovative approaches to reducing HAIs.
Among the innovative strategies that will be explored is the use of combinations of bleach and ultraviolet (UV) light to clean hospital rooms to help prevent infection.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the UK offers a more general Health Innovation Challenge Fund, worth £100m over five years starting from 2010/11. Jointly financed and administered by the Wellcome Trust and the Department of Health, the fund will support development of innovative technologies, devices and clinical procedures. The Scottish government, meanwhile, has tripled its funding to tackle HAIs to more than £50m over three years.
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