UHC disinfecting masks using intense UV light
With N95 masks being in short supply across the country, United Hospital Center has begun disinfecting masks with their ultraviolet light Germ-Zapping Robots, a news release states.
According to a news release from UHC, N-95 masks are vital to healthcare workers, helping filter out 95 percent of airborne particles.
“Research supports the use of the UV light system in destroying harmful bacteria and viruses,” said Dr. Mark Povroznik, vice president of Quality at UHC. “Our robots use UVC rays at specific wavelengths, which quickly destroy bonds that fuse DNA strands together.”
UHC says they are utilizing the same UV light emitting robot that disinfects rooms and surgical suites at the hospital to disinfect the N95 masks for reuse at UHC, in addition to Braxton County Memorial Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital, and Summersville Regional Medical Center. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allows the practice, since the supply shortage of masks.
According to UHC, the 10-minute decontaminating process allows UHC workers to wear their masks for up to a week longer; therefore decreasing usage of new ones.
Dr. Povroznik said the hospital started the cleaning procedure last Friday, and is working through the logistics of disinfecting many more masks.
“UHC has long been recognized as a leader in medical technology and highly specialized care,” Dr. Povroznik said. “The investment in UV light robots is not only important, but it also underscores UHC’s commitment to patient care and the communities we serve in North Central West Virginia, especially now.”
UHC has been using UV light disinfecting since the hospital opened its Bridgeport campus in 2010, the press release states. The Xenex LightStrike robots use Full Spectrum™ pulsed xenon UV light to quickly destroy bacteria, viruses, fungi, and bacterial spores. The portable disinfection system is effective against even the most dangerous pathogens, including Clostridium difficile (C. diff), norovirus, influenza, Ebola and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA.