If there is one thing the pandemic has taught us, it is that we cannot keep referring to old procedures, data and technology and expect them to be what is required to keep us safe now. Recent research and living through two-plus years of being held to ransom for fear of sickness or worst-case scenario, death, has forced us to reach for fresh solutions based on the most innovative technological updates. Even the World Health Organisation updated their guidelines in April 2021 to state that transmission of COVID-19 is airborne where previously it was believed to be transferred by droplets.
Time to act and save lives with newer technology
Ventilation and filtration are hot topics related to COVID-19 and an area where there have been many advances, yet healthcare and aged care facilities still latch onto guidelines written over twenty years ago. HEPA filters were once and still are the preferred version on paper to remove viruses from the air, even with their downfalls such as trapping viruses as opposed to neutralising them and expensive filter changes. So why do we still follow outdated guidelines? The wheels of change move slowly, it takes time and money to review and rewrite procedures and sometimes unless an adverse event occurs it gets put on the backburner as there isn’t enough people power for the task.
Look around, we are going through an adverse event and now is the time to act and save lives.
Newer technologies have advanced since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak solely to tackle this problem and those facilities that research and embrace these will be at the forefront of providing the best care and outcomes for those under their protection. Studies have shown that air samples, on average, are up to 8 times more contaminated than surfaces.1 We also know that people are the major source of infectious contamination and disease transmission so therefore it’s important to have source control management at room level.
Peer-reviewed and approved pathogen control technology showed contamination elimination rates up to 99.99%
A peer reviewed study conducted on ceiling mounted UV-C systems, such as UV Angel Air, resulted in overall airborne fungus and bacteria reductions of 78% and 62% respectively2 and the science tells us that reducing pathogens from the air can lower surface contamination. UV Angel Air is an example of one of these recent advances, it is an unobtrusive environmental treatment system that uses contained ultraviolet light to treat the air automatically and continually. Air is quietly drawn into a sealed chamber where it is treated with high-intensity UV-C light to inactivate bacteria, fungus, and viruses in the air. UV Angel test results showed elimination rates up to 99.99% and an advantage of the in-ceiling unit is that it maintains the valuable floor space in resident and staff areas.
COVID-19 has come, and it will subside but air treatment systems such as UV Angel are designed for not just this outbreak but also to neutralise other bacteria, fungus and viruses including gram-negative pathogens, gram-positive pathogens, and fungal pathogen surrogates.
We have the technology now to help Australian’s stay safe. The agencies who write the guidelines that our healthcare, aged care and education facilities must use are burying their heads in the sand and not listening to the work of scientists around the world.
If you would like further information, please contact HPA on 1300 HPAUST or firstname.lastname@example.org
1Lee, Linda D, DrPH, MBA, LV-17-C042, Can using active air UV-C technology reduce the amount of bacteria and/or fungus in the air and improve indoor air quality? ASHRAE Conference (2017)
2Don Guimera, MSN, RN, CIC, CCRP, FAPIC, Jean Trzil, PharmD, Joy Joyner, RN, CIC, Nicholas D. Hysmith, MD, FAAP, Effectiveness of a shielded UV-C air disinfection system in an inpatient pharmacy of a tertiary care children’s hospital, American Journal of Infection Control, August 2017 2Tina Ethington, MSN, RN, CEN, NE-BC, Sherry Newsome, BSN, RN, MBA/MNA, Jerri Waugh, BSN, RN, MBA/MHA, Linda D. Lee, DrPH, MBA, Cleaning the air with ultraviolet germicidal irradiation lessened contact infections in a long-term acute care hospital, American Journal of Infection Control, December 2017