THE Coronavirus has been shown to have high transmission capacity and easy attachment to all kinds of materials invisibly. Its resistance complicates the work of disinfecting rooms in the midst of a health crisis.
La Clínica Universidad de Navarra, in Spain, uses a pioneering machine that disinfects hospital rooms treating Covid-19 patients in just over five minutes with UV rays.
The ultraviolet irradiation germicidal lamps (UVGI) are made in Canada and each kit costs up to €160,000. With this technology, both hospital rooms and operating rooms are free of the bug after it passes in a short period of time.
“They are very effective because they destroy both DNA and RNA, where the genetic programming of viruses and bacteria is. A total destruction in a short time that allows almost immediate access to the rooms,” says Dr Francisco Guillén Grima, whose centres in Madrid and Pamplona apply this pioneering work technique.
It is a relatively new technology in Spain. With traditional space sterilisation techniques, such as hydrogen peroxide and gas or steam bottles, patients must wait between one and three hours to access the room. While ASEPT-2x UV equipment allows entry in just over 10 minutes after the last patient leaves.
“We received them two years ago. The first time we used them was because an infectious patient had undergone surgery, but the operating room was urgently needed for a heart transplant. In these cases, they notify you when there is a possible donation and they must act immediately. We put in the two towers and in 20 minutes the operating theatre was operational,” added Guillén Grima.
Manufactured by the Canadian firm Sanuvox, the equipment has a height of just over a metre and a half. Weighing just 45 kilos, it can be easily transported with its guide wheels throughout the hospital.
The only drawback that this equipment can have are the shadow areas that the UV lamp generates when it acts. To counteract this handicap, the technical staff locates the machine at various points in the rooms, thus avoiding any corner with viruses.
“One of the teams is made up of two towers that work simultaneously and each lamp is activated for five minutes. Now with the coronavirus issue, we have gone up to six minutes to ensure disinfection as a total safety margin. With the coronavirus crisis we have also rented four more towers because we could not cope,” adds the specialist.
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