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Study on preventing hospital superbugs could save money and lives

Wednesday 24th April 2013
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A scientist from Nottingham is to become the first in the country to successfully use a method of killing hospital superbugs by using ultraviolet light.

The method, which is believed to kill 99.9 per cent of all pathogens including MRSA and vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE), could save around 30,000 lives a year, as well as £1 billion worth of taxpayers money in the process.

Dr Tim Boswell, who conducted the UK's first ever study of the approach at Nottingham City Hospital, is to present his findings as part of a special seminar at the East Midlands Conference Centre.

During the trial, Dr Boswell fitted a special device known as a Tru-D into the hospital's operating theatres and intensive care units last November. He found that not only was the device easy to deploy, but also managed to reduce the time it took to disinfect the room, completing the process in under three hours.

Speaking about the impact the findings could have on the way in which hospitals are kept free of superbugs, Dr Boswell said: "We have not only proven that the technology works in experimental conditions but that it can be easily and comfortably adopted by a busy, real-world clinical environment and is an interesting alternative for terminal decontamination of an environment."

The findings could revolutionise the way in which hospitals safeguard themselves against any potential infections.

A majority of methods currently being deployed by professionals are not only financially costly, but also extremely time-consuming.

This means that many methods are also reactionary; after an infection is known to be present.

The shorter treatment time of Tru-D means that resources of an already stretched NHS could therefore be used far more efficiently.

Bill Passmore, director of operations at Rapid Disinfection Services, the team responsible for launching Tru-D in the UK, said: "Infection prevention is a huge challenge to the NHS so we are expecting keen interest in our technology from experts all over the country."

Written by Martin Lambert

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