Overview of the HAI Problem
Hospitals, surgical centers, schools, prisons, and similar institutions have been battling pathogens that have adapted and have become resistant to antibiotics. The current MRSA epidemic is an example of the growing number of pathogens which have developed resistance to common antibiotics. Here are some alarming Center for Disease Control statistics.
- One in every 20 patients contracts an infection in the hospital, causing 99,000 deaths each year.
- An estimated 1.7 million health care-associated infections in U.S. hospitals each year cost the industry $30 billion annually.
- Each health care-associated infection costs hospitals from $10,500 to $111,000 per case, adjusted to 2004 dollars.
- Staphylococcus aureus stays in the United States result in an estimated 2.7 million days in excess length of stay, close to 12,000 inpatient deaths per year and $9.5 billion in excess charges.
- Data from intensive care unit patients in the United States show that 28% of the bacteria that most frequently causes hospital-acquired infections are resistant to the preferred antibiotics for treatment.
- Epidemics associated with emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases are now occurring in historically unprecedented numbers.
- Hospital associated pathogens and Multi Drug Resistant Organisms (MDRO) survive in the health care environment for up to two months.
- Patients have a >200% greater risk of acquiring a MDRO when the room was occupied by a patient that had the organisms previously, even after “terminal cleaning.”
- Impact of HAI avoidance: Current Rate Estimate = 11.5 / 10002 Admissions.
- Current rate cost range per 1000 admissions = $ 120,750 to $ 1,276,500
- Per 30,000 Admissions $ 3,622,500 to $ 38,295,000 per year.
- Savings Impact per 10% reduction = $ 362,500 to $ 3.8 million for 30,000 admissions per year.
Ultraviolet rays, specifically within the UV-C wavelength, will destroy pathogens such as
- Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
- Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus
- Clostridium difficille
- Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase Producers
UV-C light replicates the natural outdoor purification system of the sun by destroying the allergy and disease-causing pathogens.
UV-C light is germicidal; it deactivates the DNA of bacteria, viruses and other pathogens and thus destroys their ability to multiply. Specifically, UV-C light causes damage to the nucleic acid of microorganisms by forming covalent bonds between certain adjacent bases in the DNA. The formation of such bonds prevents the DNA from being unzipped for replication, and the organism is unable to reproduce. In fact, when the organism tries to replicate, it dies.