Dr. Bearman of VCU on New SHEA Guidance for Contact Precautions
With hospital-acquired infections on the rise, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) has released guidance on when hospital staff should stop contact precautions for patients with multidrug-resistant bacterial infections. Among the suggested protocols are continuing contact precautions for at least 48 hours after diarrhea stops for all C. diff cases.
In an interview with Contagion Live, Gonzalo Bearman, MD, MPH, chairman of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Virginia Commonwealth University said, “I think that an alternative to contact precautions for C. difficile would be, first, very aggressive with your hand washing, your disinfection of the environment, either with bleach or even using some of the new technologies, such as UVC technologies, or robots, or UVC light technologies. Instead of isolating everyone, for example, with active detection and isolation, minimizing the use of contact precautions just for people who are truly infected.”
Dr. Bearman is very familiar with UV technology, as VCU has published two, independent studies on the use of UVC, specifically Tru-D. A recent study conducted by VCU and published in the American Journal of Infection Control, Ultraviolet-C light as a means of disinfecting anesthesia workstations, demonstrated Tru-D SmartUVC’s ability to reduce bioburden on anesthesia workstations. In the study, UVC disinfection greatly influenced bioburden reduction on high-touch, complex medical equipment surfaces contaminated with three (3) organisms commonly implicated in surgical infections.
A later study conducted by VCU achieved 100% utilization of Tru-D for high risk rooms. The study stated, “The deployment was performed with structured education, audit and feedback, and resulted in a multidisciplinary practice change that maximized the UV disinfection capture rate from 20% to 100%.” From February 2015 until January 2017, two Tru-D robots were used, and in mid-January 2017, two additional robots were purchased.
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