This peer reviewed article entitled “Effectiveness of a shielded ultraviolet C air disinfection system in an inpatient pharmacy of a tertiary care children's hospital” was published in the American Journal of Infection Control in August 2017.
Authors, Don Guimera, MSN, RN, CIC, CCRP, FAPIC, Jean Trzil, PharmD, Joy Joyner, RN, CIC, Nicholas D. Hysmith, MD, FAAP
Viable air particles pose a risk in areas where sterile preparations are compounded. This study investigated the efficacy of an innovative air purification technology that uses a shielded UV-C light lamp to continuously purify the air in an inpatient pharmacy. Mean airborne fungal and bacterial colony forming units were obtained pre-installation and again in 6 months. A statistically significant decrease of 78% and 62% was observed for fungal and bacterial particles, respectively. This study demonstrates a potential role for this novel technology in decreasing the spread of airborne pathogens.
The inpatient pharmacy is a 5,152-sq ft. space located on a midlevel floor of the hospital. A 600-sq ft. rectangle anteroom is adjacent to the main pharmacy work area preceding both a 264-sq ft. intravenous (IV) preparation room and 88-sq ft. chemotherapy preparation room on opposing ends of the anteroom. There is relative positive pressure throughout the pharmacy with exception of the chemotherapy room, which is negative pressure relative to the anteroom.
Fifty-two units were installed in the main pharmacy and adjacent anteroom of the compounding area. The number of units and placement were based on manufacturer guidelines stating a maximal effectiveness of 1 U/100 sq ft. There were no changes in the cleaning or disinfection practices between the sampling time points. Pre-installation sampling occurred during the last week of September with post-study sampling during the last week of March.
A mean colony forming units per meters cubed count from the entire pharmacy revealed an overall significant decrease in both fungal and bacterial viable air particles by 78% and 62%, respectively. There was a statistically significant decrease in mean air fungal colony forming units per meters cubed in the interior hall, breakroom, work area 2, and the anteroom.
This novel air purification system was effective in decreasing viable airborne microbes in our inpatient pharmacy. We believe these units are advantageous to other technologies currently available in that they allow for constant, in-room UV-C air purification.