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Operating rooms are supposed to be sterile environments, but studies show that they remain contaminated with microscopic pathogens that can cause Surgical Site Infections (SSI) even after they have been cleaned. SSIs, which are some of the most commonly occurring infections, can be devastating to patients and cost the hospital tens of thousands of dollars in additional patient care.

Xenex Disinfection Services’ LightStrike pulsed xenon Full Spectrum ultraviolet (UV) disinfection technology has been proven to quickly destroy the germs and bacteria in Operating Rooms (OR) that cause SSIs. Hundreds of hospitals use LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots during the terminal cleaning process in the OR after the day’s procedures are complete. Xenex recommends running the robot for two 8- or 10-minute positions (depending on robot model) during the terminal clean. Multiple positions greatly reduces the impact of shadows on UV disinfection efficacy.

Studies show, however, that bioburden increases in the OR during the day. A leading U.S. medical institution recently studied the effectiveness of the Xenex LightStrike robot in its ORs and found that the LightStrike robot can effectively disinfect high touch surfaces in an OR in 2 minutes. This short cycle time may make between-case cleaning in the OR a viable option and something hospitals should consider operationalizing within their protocol.

“Running a quick cycle in between cases can be very effective at bringing down the vegetative bacteria bioburden in the OR,” said Dr. Sarah Simmons, Science Director, Xenex. “The LightStrike robot turns on instantly (no warm-up or cool down time) so it can be brought into the OR to quickly disinfect the area around the surgical table in between procedures.”

Hospitals using the Xenex LightStrike system as part of their infection prevention protocol have published numerous studies reporting dramatic reductions in hospital infection rates, even Clostridium difficile (C.diff), which is particularly hard to destroy. Two hospitals experienced significant reductions in their SSI rates after they began using LightStrike to disinfect their ORs and published their results in peer-reviewed journals, crediting the Xenex disinfection robot for the role it played in those reductions.

Xenex is demonstrating its patented pulsed xenon UV technology at the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN) Surgical Conference & Expo in Boston. In addition, Xenex is hosting a Continuing Nurse Education (CNE) activity sponsored by Pfiedler Enterprises and recognized by AORN in the Xenex booth (2912) during exhibit hours. The CNE activity “Exploring the Future of Operating Room Disinfection Standards” will discuss the role of the environment in the risk and transmission of SSIs and what you can expect in the future of OR disinfection standards.

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