An infectious disease expert from Queen's University has helped develop a disinfection system that could revolutionize methods for sterilizing hospitals all over the world.
“This is the future, because many hospital deaths are preventable with better cleaning methods,” said Quinte Health Care’s new Chief of Staff, Dr. Dick Zoutman, in a university press release. “It has been reported that more than 100,000 people in North America die every year due to hospital-acquired infections at a cost of $30 billion. That’s 100,000 people every year who are dying from largely preventable infections.”
Zoutman's new method involves pumping a vapor mixture of ozone and hydrogen peroxide into a room to completely sterilize it. Everything from the floors, walls and drapes to mattresses, chairs and other surfaces are left disinfected.
The technique was inspired by how Mother Nature kills bacteria in humans. For example, when an antibody attacks a germ, it produces an ozone and a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, generating a highly reactive compound that kills bacteria, viruses and mold.
“It works well for Mother Nature and is working very well for us,” said Dr. Zoutman.
Besides being more effective than simply wiping down a hospital room, this new technology has other advantages, too. It can be used to sterilize instruments, it leaves behind a pleasant smell and the whole process takes less than one hour.
On top of that, Dr. Zoutman also demonstrated the technique effectively kills bed bugs. As well, he says the technology could also be used to disinfect areas of food preparation, processing plants and cruise ships.
Dr. Zoutman collaborated with Dr. Michael Shannon of Medizone International at Queen's University laboratories. Medizone is commercializing the new technology, with first deliveries scheduled for early 2012.
[Via Science Daily]
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