Are UV and Hydrogen Peroxide automated room decon devices clinically effective?


8th July 2016


A useful review by Weber et al. explores data from studies with a clinical outcome evaluating UV and hydrogen peroxide automated room (ARD) decon devices. There are now quite a few studies showing that admission to a room previously occupied by a patient with a pathogen associated with HCAI (including C. difficile, MRSA, VRE and others) increases the chances of acquiring these pathogens due to surface contamination that is not dealt with by standard cleaning and disinfection approaches. There is also a sound evidence base showing that both UV and hydrogen peroxide ARD systems do a better job of reducing microbial loads on surfaces than standard cleaning and disinfection. However, evidence from studies linking these environmental reductions to clinical outcomes are rarer, but increasing.   The focuses on some key studies evaluating the clinical impact of ARD systems. There are some convincing studies for HPV (including the impressive Passaretti and McCord studies), and for UVC systems, which put out a continuous dose of germicidal UV (including Napolitano and the much-anticipated BETR-D study). Whilst there are quite a few studies which, on the face of it, suggest that PX-UV, which puts out a pulsed dose of broad spectrum UV, also reduces HCAI, many of these studies have important confounding factors, making it difficult to attribute the reduction specifically to the UV device. For example, in the study by Fornwalt, PX-UV was introduced as a part of a quality improvement programme, and in the study by Simmons, PX-UV was part of a multi-faceted bundle.  

The review concludes that ‘A growing number of clinical studies have demonstrated that ultraviolet devices and Hydrogen Peroxide systems when used for terminal disinfection can reduce colonization or health care-associated infections in patients admitted to these hospital rooms.’  



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