Evaluation Background: UV Room Disinfection Devices

April 30, 2020 | Evaluations & Guidance


Here's background for our Evaluations of ultraviolet (UV) room disinfection devices, outlining the key considerations for making wise purchasing decisions. See our product ratings, and learn how the technology is used and what factors we test for.

Room disinfection devices in general are designed to reduce healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). They use a number of technologies to disinfect surfaces of patient rooms. These technologies include vaporized agents and ultraviolet C (UVC) lights.

UV disinfection devices are used for microbial disinfection of surfaces that can be directly exposed to UV light. Studies indicate that sufficient exposure to UV light can eliminate a number of microbes, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Clostridioides**difficile (C. diff), and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE).

Key components of a UV room disinfection device include:

  1. One or more mercury or xenon lamps that emit UV light

  2. A tower that houses the lamps

  3. An integrated or remote controller, which the operator uses to initiate and track the treatment cycle

  4. A motion sensor that automatically shuts down the device, reducing the risk of staff or patient UV exposure

In addition, many manufacturers offer web portals or other tracking software to allow program managers to review and evaluate use of the UV devices over time.

UV disinfection is an adjunct to routine cleaning and does not replace normal cleaning processes. This technology is not subject to FDA regulations, but...

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