Physiotherapy elastic band disinfection by UV-C irradiation in an intensive care unit

Photodiagnosis Photodyn Ther. 2021 Jun:34:102262. doi: 10.1016/j.pdpdt.2021.102262. Epub 2021 Mar 23.


Background: The transmission of healthcare-associated pathogens is mainly related to the massive flow of patients with infections in hospitals, presenting surfaces as potential transmission sources of these microorganisms. The physiotherapist who works in the intensive care area has become a specialist in daily routine in critical care with ventilatory support and post-surgical recovery. Furthermore, for this, the instruments are used in the patient's hands and body. Chemicals such as chlorine derivatives, triclosan, chlorhexidine and, 70 % alcohol are currently used to decontaminate surfaces. This study evaluated ultraviolet C (UV-C) irradiation efficiency in the physiotherapy object's disinfection in daily use in the Hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Methods: the microbiological quantification carried out using the elastic band during physiotherapy in a cross-sectional study with 21 patients. The methodology compared the cleaning protocol (70 % alcohol) with a new irradiation method in elastic band in the ICU.

Results: The results showed microbial reductions in the elastic band using both 70 % alcohol and UV-C irradiation (254 nm), with 60 s of illumination, totaling a light dose of 0.78 J/cm2; however, the UV-C irradiation showed better results.

Conclusion: This study showed that disinfection by UV-C irradiation could be introduced in an intensive care hospital environment for physiotherapeutic conduct.

Keywords: Elastic band; Hospital environment; Hospital infection; Physiotherapy; Surface disinfection; UV-C irradiation.

MeSH terms

  • Cross Infection* / prevention & control
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disinfection
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Photochemotherapy* / methods
  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Photosensitizing Agents