Ultraviolet-C light as a means of disinfecting anesthesia workstations

Am J Infect Control. 2017 Sep 1;45(9):1011-1013. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2017.02.016. Epub 2017 Apr 18.


Background: Anesthesia workstations (AWs) are a reservoir for pathogenic organisms potentially associated with surgical site infections. This study examined the effectiveness of the Tru-D SmartUVC device (Tru-D LLC, Nashville, TN) on bioburden reduction (BR) on AWs.

Methods: Strips of tissue inoculated with a known concentration of either Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, or Acinetobacter sp were placed on 22 high-touch surfaces of an AW. Half of the AW surfaces received direct ultraviolet (UV) light exposure and half received indirect exposure. Two inoculated strips, in sterile tubes outside of the room, represented the control. Trials were conducted on AWs in an operating room and a small room. Strips were placed in a saline solution, vortexed, and plated on blood agar to assess BR by the number of colony forming units.

Results: All experimental trials, compared with controls, exhibited a BR >99%. There was a significantly greater reduction of E faecalis colony forming units in the operating room AW under direct exposure (P = .019) compared with indirect exposure. There was no significant difference in reduction when comparing AWs between rooms.

Conclusion: Regardless of room size and exposure type, automated UV-C treatment greatly influences BR on AW high-touch surfaces. Hospitals instituting an automated UV-C system as an infection prevention adjunct should consider utilizing it in operating rooms for BR as part of a horizontal infection prevention surgical site infection-reduction strategy.

Keywords: Hand hygiene; Operating room; Surgical site infection.

MeSH terms

  • Acinetobacter / growth & development
  • Acinetobacter / radiation effects*
  • Anesthesia / methods
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Disinfection / methods*
  • Durable Medical Equipment / microbiology
  • Enterococcus faecalis / growth & development
  • Enterococcus faecalis / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Microbial Viability / radiation effects
  • Patients' Rooms
  • Staphylococcus aureus / growth & development
  • Staphylococcus aureus / radiation effects*
  • Ultraviolet Rays*