This six-month study examined the effect of continuous ultraviolet radiation (UV-C) at the room level on incidence of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The study, conducted in a long-term care ventilator unit, counted each antibiotic start as an infection. The primary outcome measure was infection rate, calculated as infections/1000 patient days.
Eighty-six patients were admitted from September 2015 to February 2016. Study inclusion criteria were admission to the unit, full-time mechanical ventilation and age > 18 years. One wing of the ward had two shielded UV-C units installed per patient room. An adjacent wing without UV-C units was used as the control.
The overall infection rate was significantly lower in rooms with UV-C units than in those without: 12.5±-2.12 vs. 17.5±-2.81 p=0.022.
Findings suggest that continuous exposure to UV-C treated air reduces HAIs. Shielded UV-C units in patient rooms may be an effective non-staff intervention dependent method for reducing HAIs.