Knowledge Articles

OPERATING ROOM

UVC lights provide infection control, green benefits

by Jeannie Akridge

Muskogee Community Hospital (Muskogee, OK) is using germicidal UVC (ultraviolet C) Emitters™ from Steril-Aire as part of an innovative infection control measure. The devices were installed in the air handling units and in custom-designed, ceilingmounted units in the surgical and procedural suites, marking the first time a hospital has used UVC technology in this way. Steril-Aire devices use high output UVC energy to eradicate airborne viruses and bacteria as well as surface biofilm/ mold and pathogens, to improve indoor air quality and help reduce hospital acquired infections. At MCH, the UVC devices were installed in the outside air intake; in the 77 individual air handling units that serve virtually all patient areas; and in seven ceiling-mounted devices that are specially engineered for “after-hours” disinfection of the surgical and procedural areas with cleansing germicidal light. MCH’s environmentally friendly construction has made it the first healthcare facility to garner the EPA’s “Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR” recognition. MCH is also the first hospital to use a

Steril-Aire single-ended (SE) UVC Emitter
as used by MCH

closed-loop ground source geothermal system that covers the facility’s entire heating and cooling needs, in place of a traditional
central HVAC system.
The use of the geothermal
heat pumps
give MCH much better
zoned control
while also saving energy.
Installing Steril-
Aire UVC Emitters in
the heat pump units
serving the patient
rooms provides an
added cost savings
benefit, in both maintenance costs and energy
consumption. As the UVC continuously
cleans the coil and drain pan surfaces of
biofilm buildup, it helps reduce and even
eliminate the need for costly manual cleaning
and keeps the units in ‘as-new’ condition
so they run more efficiently.
Steril-Aire Inc. offers a range of products
for healthcare applications including UVC
Emitters designed for installation in HVAC
systems where they destroy microorganisms
including flu viruses, bacteria and
biofilm/mold. The devices come in a
range of sizes and configurations to fit
all types of air handlers, large and
small. For example, Steril-Aire singleended
(SE Series) UVC Emitters install
from the exterior of HVAC equipment,
providing high output germicidal
protection for systems that are
limited in space or difficult to access.
Applications include heat pumps, fan

coils, unit ventilators, terminal units

Custom-designed, ceiling-mounted UVC devices from Steril-Aire installed in Muskogee Community Hospital’s surgical and procedural suites enable “after-hours” disinfection.
and ductwork. The device is available in a variety of tube lengths and voltage options. Portable room air purifiers using the technology are also available for spot air cleaning. In addition, Steril-Aire offers both installed and portable UVC devices that provide targeted decontamination of surfaces in laboratories, surgical suites and other critical areas. HPN

Steril-Aire UVC installation on heat pumps
serving patient rooms at MCH

with permission, Healthcare Purchasing News, September 2009

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