As a relatively new technique in infection control, whole room decontamination (WRD) has often been limited to deployment in outbreak situations due to technological, logistical and economical constraints. Early systems have had long treatment times, blocking beds longer than is practical for regular use. The specialist nature of the equipment involved has made early systems costly and only operable by highly trained specialists. Additionally, the use of harsh chemicals has made widespread use difficult from a health and safety perspective due to the tight controls required.
To make routine WRD a reality, technology must be faster, easier to use, safer, greener and more economical than has previously been the case. Recent technological and process breakthroughs at Meditrox have meant that a proactive approach to WRD has been realised. This has been achieved by overcoming the barriers that have previously limited the use of WRD and by working closely with hospitals to integrate the room treatment process into existing cleaning regimes, providing a complete solution.
Meditrox technology uses oxygen and specially prepared water to release a powerful combination of ozone and hydroxyl free radicals to kill contaminants, eliminating the use of harsh chemicals. Technological advances that allow fast removal of biocides, combined with room sealing developments that enable quick and safe deployment, have made regular use possible.
Meditrox in action
Meditrox recently proved its effectiveness during an extended trial at Royal Preston Hospital. Debbie Fielding, Associate Director of Infection Control, made the following comments on the trial:
“Meditrox was deployed at the Royal Preston Hospital as part of a three month trial for the Trust to evaluate the benefits over existing hydrogen peroxide-based ‘fogging’ (HPV) systems. The hospital has around 750 beds of which 14% are single- patient rooms.
Meditrox replaced the HPV systems for the routine cleaning of rooms following the discharge of patients with C. difficile and was also used to implement a routine of scheduled sluice room cleaning that had not previously been possible owing to time limitations of HPV.
Royal Preston was also the first hospital where internal domestic staff were trained to operate the machines to allow easy integration into existing cleaning routines.
Using Meditrox enabled routine cleaning of up to four sluice rooms each day, alongside the response cleans required following the discharge of patients with C. difficile from side rooms. Since June 2011, laboratory testing has been refined to identify carriers of C. difficile, and Meditrox cleaning has been used after the discharge of such patients from isolation rooms in order to reduce environmental contamination and thus further spread. Typical treatment times under two hours minimised disruption caused by the isolation of sluice rooms enabling the routine to continue on a pattern that saw each sluice room being cleaned every two weeks.
This system presented significant time saving over the existing HPV technology when decontaminating side rooms, reducing the wait for the beds to become available to less than three hours compared with five or more previously. Successful training of operators allowed the machines to operate between 8am and 10pm weekdays, facilitating up to six treatments per day.
Microbiological testing was not carried out as part of the trial. However, all C. difficile cases are subject to a root cause analysis – no evidence of cross infection has been demonstrated during the trial period.”
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