Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Cooley Dickinson KOs C. diff

#IHI Cooley-Dickinson Hospital in Northhampton, MA, has had an exemplary record for infection control, knocking out central line infections for an extended period, but they have just reached some new heights.  They used a high intensity, pulsing ultraviolet light to kill Clostridium difficile and MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bugs in patient rooms and elsewhere.  C. diff, a bacteria that can cause diarrhea and when severe can cause sepsis and death, is a difficult organism to kill: Its spores lay dormant but potent on surfaces of patient rooms (e.g., walls and bed rails).  Bleach is the most effective cleaning agent, but it is hard to know if all areas have been properly cleaned.

The technique is to use the Xenex system to have 120 flashes per minute for seven minutes in each patient room, and each bathroom, and each OR after discharge and each emergency department space every day.  This was all added to aggressive previous approaches like MRSA screening before admitting patients, and using precautions.

During the application period, the UV light bounces all over the room, on all surfaces and into cracks that might otherwise be missed.  The results were extraordinary:

Or to put it in the technical terms of a recent poster presented by Joanne Levin, MD; Linda Riley, RN; Christine Parrish, RN; and Daniel English:

Methods. During January 2011, the use of two PPX-UV devices to disinfect patient rooms was phased in. Rooms and bathrooms were terminally cleaned as usual with a chlorine- based product, followed by the use of PPX-UV, usually for three, seven-minute exposures (once in the bathroom, twice in the bedroom). The overall room turnover time was extended by about 15 minutes. When a device was not being used for terminal cleaning of patient rooms, it was also used in the operating suites, emergency department, and other areas. Surveillance for HA-CDI using SHEA definitions continued as per routine. No other new infection prevention interventions were instituted during this time.

Results: CDI cases were found for a rate of 3.18/10,000 patient days (pd). This compares favorably with the rate of 9.5/10,000 pd for all of 2010. We also compared Q1-Q3 data for the previous three years. The combined Q1-Q3 rate for 2008-2010 was 9.77/10,000 pd compared to 3.18 for Q1-Q3 2011 when PPX-UV was used, resulting in a 67% decline (p=0.017). In addition, to date there have been no HA-CDI–related deaths or colectomies since the institution of PPX-UV. 

I wonder if this will become the disinfection routine of choice over time.

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