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Innovative Hand Sanitation System Trumps Hospital Acquired Infections

Armen Hareyan's picture

Innovative Hand Sanitation System

A new hand sanitation device for use by hospital healthcare workers and doctors has been demonstrated by Germgard Lighting LLC.

"It is a unique device," said Dr. Eugene Gordon, Germgard's acting CEO and CTO. "In a field in which effective hand sanitation technology has been absent for so long, and viable solutions are desperately needed, the new hand sanitizer is a timely and important contribution. Hospital acquired infections, annually almost 3 million in the U.S., result in approximately 100,000 deaths and an associated healthcare cost of order $30 billion. Current infection control practice is bare hand sanitation between patient visits often followed by donning medical exam gloves. However, recontamination of the gloved hand inevitably occurs when room surfaces, healthcare worker's and doctor's clothing, instruments, etc., inevitably covered by pathogens, are touched by the healthcare worker hand during a patient visit and then transferred to the patient during care."

"We believe that this is the primary and not to be ignored route for transmission of hospital acquired infections. Our patented device, based on ultraviolet (UV-C) exposure of the gloved hand within a small, closed volume, has been designed to allow a system of frequent, fast, and immediately available hand sanitation during patient care, interrupting the infection pathway in a way that infrequent bare hand sanitation cannot. The UV-C is blocked by the exam gloves and no UV-C leaves the device, hence the process is totally safe for the healthcare worker, doctor, and patient."

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According to Dr. Anthony Harris, Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine, "Germgard's approach represents a potentially innovative improvement over the current practice of bare hand sanitation between patient visits and within a given patient visit. By potentially improving disinfection compliance, it may advance patient care, protect the patient, and improve healthcare delivery outcomes."

The ongoing testing study, carried out by MaryPaul Laboratories of Sparta, NJ has demonstrated, in preliminary studies, that Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the first of a series of test pathogens, was inactivated to better than 99.999% in 3 seconds over all glove surfaces including the space between fingers. The demonstrated sanitation capability significantly exceeds current infection control guidelines published by CDC, and requirements set by FDA.

Ongoing studies will challenge a variety of organisms, including Bacillus spores.

Dr. Harris added, "The technology could substantially mitigate nosocomial infections including those from antibiotic resistant bacteria such as MRSA by reducing hand colonization within patient contact opportunities."

Additionally, it is anticipated that this technology will demonstrate that it can inactivate all pathogens including virus, and rugged C. difficile and anthrax spores. Current bare hand hygiene practice based on lengthy hand washing and/or alcohol rubs takes about 30 seconds, typically achieves only 99.5% inactivation, and is unable to sanitize spores.

The Company expects that the device will be appreciated by overburdened health care workers who are under constant pressure to improve their hand sanitation habits.