New way found to fend off hospital infections

Dec. 12, 2011 at 10:50 PM   |   Comments

KINGSTON, Ontario, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Researchers in Canada say their new disinfection system may change the way hospital rooms, and perhaps hotel rooms, worldwide are cleaned.

Dr. Dick Zoutman, chief of staff at Quinte Health Care, and Dr. Michael Shannon of Medizone International at laboratories in Innovation Park, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, said the new disinfection technology also killed bed bugs.

Medizone is commercializing the technology, with the first deliveries scheduled for the first quarter of 2012, Zoutman and Shannon said.

"This is the future, because many hospital deaths are preventable with better cleaning methods," Zoutman said in a statement. "It has been reported that more than 100,000 people in North America die every year due to hospital acquired infections. That's 100,000 people every year who are dying from largely preventable infections."

The new technology involves pumping a mixture of Medizone-specific ozone and hydrogen peroxide gas into a room to sterilize everything -- including floors, walls, drapes, mattresses, chairs and other surfaces. It is far more effective in killing bacteria than wiping down a room, Zoutman said.

Zoutman says the technique is similar to how nature kills bacteria in humans. When an antibody attacks a germ, it generates ozone and a minute amount of hydrogen peroxide, producing a new highly reactive compound that is profoundly lethal against bacteria, viruses and mold.

The findings were published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

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