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Infection Prevention and Control

How UV Works

Exposure to UV photons prevents cell replication. Bacteria and viruses have known, but, limited repair mechanisms that are easily overwhelmed. Unlike antibiotics and chemical disinfectants, bacteria and viruses, crucially, have not been shown to systematically develop further resistance to UV.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is capable of disinfecting surfaces, water and air. Effective disinfection of environmental surfaces is a key step in the prevention of spread of infectious agents. The traditional manual cleaning is essential in assuring adequate elimination of contamination. However, due to available time and non-standardised protocols terminal cleaning is frequently suboptimal or unpredictable in many circumstances. UV-C radiation is an adjunctive disinfectant proven technology that disarms a wide array of microorganisms including both vegetative and spore forming pathogens.

Using UV light for disinfection purposes is not a novel idea

“UV top of list in war against superbugs”

Barry Hunt, Infection Control

Direct Infection
According to the UK government statistics and Public Health research over 4 million people in Europe contract a healthcare-associated infection (HCAI) every year, and around 37,000 die as a direct result of the infection.
Direct Infection 2
Between 2016/17 there were an estimated 653,000 HCAI’s among the 13.8m adult inpatients in NHS general and teaching hospitals in England, of which 22 ,800 patients died as a result of their infection.
Direct Infection 3
Additionally, there were an estimated 13,900 HCAIs among 810,000 front-line healthcare professionals (HCPs) in the year. These infections were estimated to account for a total of 5.6 million occupied hospital bed days and 62,500 days of absenteeism among front-line HCPs.
Direct Infection 4
In 2016/2017, HCAIs were estimated to have cost the NHS an estimated £2.1 billion, of which 99.8% was attributable to patient management and 0.2% was the additional cost of replacing absent front-line HCPs with bank or agency staff for a period of time.
Direct Infection 5
When the framework of the model was expanded to include all NHS hospitals in England (by adding specialist hospitals), there were an estimated 834,000 HCAIs in 2016/2017 costing the NHS £2.7 billion, and accounting for 28,500 patient deaths, 7.1 million occupied hospital bed days (equivalent to 21% of the annual number of all bed days across all NHS hospitals in England) and 79,700 days of absenteeism among front-line HCPs.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to focus on controlling and preventing infections.




Hand Hygiene Education

To discuss your UV treatment needs please contact us on 01787 370187, or email we’d be delighted to hear from you.