In healthcare, the need for a highly successful disinfection method is vital for critical environments. Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) radiation has become the most popular method because of its proven ability to dramatically reduce the transmission of many viral and bacterial infections, including mumps, measles, tuberculosis, and COVID-19. However, UV-C radiation poses a real danger to humans. Exposure can cause skin cancer and scarring of the eyes. This type of radiation is so dangerous that everyone must exit the room before it is used.
That’s why more and more healthcare facilities are opting for safer options. SLD Technology’s Indigo-Clean is used in place of UV-C radiation and is approved for human exposure. Using a safe 405-nanometer frequency of visible light, Indigo-Clean operates very close to the UV spectrum, so it is referred to as near-UV. The continuous environmental disinfection technology uses an LED visible light that, like UV-C, can kill a wide variety of pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza, but can simultaneously provide safe illumination for the people in the room.
Andrew Hall, the Vice President of Sales at SLD technology, describes how Indigo-Clean is used, “It is as simple as turning on the lights. It does not require any extra staff or training to operate.”
He continues, “It has two operating modes: white and indigo blue. In white mode, white and 405nm LEDs are on at the same time so operate at a lower dose. It is continuously cleaning 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year. This mode is used during and between procedures to clean the room.”
“Then, when a deep cleaning is needed, it automatically turns to the indigo blue mode, which we call full dosing when the space is unoccupied,” Hall explains.
The recommended operation schedule is 12 hours white (blended) mode and 12 hours indigo blue mode with an average of 50- to 60-foot candles on work plane and high touch surfaces. Because the blue light can be disorienting, the full dosing mode is typically used after hours during an ‘unoccupied’ environment. The light automatically turns to the white mode when someone enters a room via sensors in the ceiling. However, the blue light still poses no harm to humans.
How Does UV-C Work with COVID?
An 18-month, third-party study from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai established that Indigo-Clean is effective at killing Influenza A and SARS-CoV-2. The blended white and indigo light was found to kill 90% of the viruses in the upper air within two hours. However, the indigo-only light was found to kill 94%-99% of the viruses. This effectiveness has proven to be vital in the hospital setting over the course of the pandemic.
Additionally, according to studies by Maury Regional Medical Center, Indigo-Clean has been confirmed to kill 70 % of bacteria with 24 hours and is effective on MRSA, C. diff, and E.Coli. Maury’s orthopedic suites documented a 73% reduction in SSIs during the course of their study.
Visible Light Disinfection in Hospitals
Because of the reflective nature of the technology, Indigo-Clean bounces off surfaces in a room to completely fill the space with the light, allowing it to reach the shadowed areas other disinfection technologies often miss. According to a recent AJIC peer-reviewed study, Indigo-Clean has been shown to reduce harmful bacteria by 85%. This research reveals the potential to reduce healthcare providers’ costs, along with the additional cost per patient savings due to fewer healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).
Indigo-Clean in Surgical Suites and Interventional Rooms
Hall notes, “Using Indigo-Clean in locations where people gather together indoors has the potential to prevent another pandemic.” He adds, “It kills active microbes by oxidizing them from the inside. It can remove these pathogens from the air, as well as from soft and hard surfaces. On top of that, people can always be in the room without the risk of UV.”
Other options for environmental disinfection strategies don’t last as long. Bacteria can return to the space as soon as cleaning is complete. Indigo-Clean enables continuous environmental disinfection. The nonstop disinfection also prevents pathogens from reoccupying the area, which in turn bolsters the current infection prevention efforts. Hall states, “it is a perfect application for large imaging (interventional Cath Labs & Hybrid ORs) suites where the quantity and complexity of both equipment and the healthcare providers is four to five times greater that of General ORs. The reflective nature of visible light aids in disinfecting hard to reach surfaces that would be impossible for UV-C methods to accomplish.”