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Prototype, 7-foot-tall sanitizer automates disinfection of hard-to-clean hospital equipment
Date:7/31/2009

circuitry appeared to be damaged by the decontamination process. Instruments tested were of the type that comes in direct contact with a patient's skin, the body's key barrier to infection.

Repeated swabbing and lab culture testing of each decontaminated instrument showed that all items remained free of so-called gram-positive bacteria for two full days after cleaning, even after the equipment was returned to the emergency department and re-used. On the bacteria-free list were such potentially dangerous superbugs as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE).

By contrast, testing of an equal number of similar items that were manually scrubbed down with a disinfectant solution, called Airex, showed that 25 percent of the devices had bacterial growth after two days, including growth of potentially dangerous gram-positive bacteria, such as MRSA and VRE, as well as gram-negative type bacteria, most notably, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Acinetobacter baumannii, plus some types of fungi.

"Our study results with the prototype offer strong evidence that more can be done to disinfect noncritical equipment through automated decontamination processes in heavily trafficked areas of the hospital," says Asiyanbola, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "We believe this SUDS device has the potential to further protect our patients and staff from hospital infections and save health care dollars by making it possible to clean and re-use more kinds of hospital equipment."

The Hopkins inventors, who have patent applications pending, say more studies must be done to determine if SUDS is effective for other hospital superbugs, notably, Clostridium difficile.


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Contact: David March
dmarch1@jhmi.edu
410-955-1534
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert  

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