Is UV Germicidal Light Effective in Operating Rooms?

New study shows whether environmental services teams can use UV to disinfect between surgeries

By Dan Hounsell


A new study demonstrates the effectiveness of ultraviolet (UV) germicidal light for disinfecting in healthcare facilities, specifically operating rooms. 

In the research, conducted by Dr. Gabriele Messina, professor of public health at the University of Siena at the Rugani Hospital Monteriggioni in Siena, the UVDI-360 room sanitizer achieved greater than 97 percent germ reduction in operating rooms in six minutes, with two three-minute disinfection cycles run on each side of the operating table. Since the light only kills what it hits in a straight line, the device needs to be moved around the room to effectively reach all surfaces. 

Testing UV disinfection in-between surgeries prior to manual cleaning and disinfection was one of multiple environmental hygiene protocols examined in the research.

“The results indicate that the use of the UVDI-360 produced high levels of disinfection in the operating room,” says Dr. Messina. “As a complement to manual cleaning, which is key to remove gross filth and soil, these promising results underline the rapid, germicidal effectiveness of 254 nm UV-C in an operating room setting and can standardize the level of environmental hygiene for every single patient who undergoes surgery.”

UV is an alternative to chemicals for disinfecting hard surfaces, but environmental services staffs still need to provide manual cleaning. UV light doesn't remove soils or layers of bio-film.



April 21, 2021


Topic Area: Infection Control


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