Medical Marvels: Using Ultra Violet Energy to Kill Viruses and Bacteria

MIDDLETOWN – Aside from the visit to a hospital for whatever treatment a patient is going in for, there is a growing anxiety and fear of being exposed to an infectious disease while in the hospital’s care.

By purchasing and employing the Surfacide Helios system, Orange Regional Medical Center has become the first hospital in our New York area to employ the three tower system of ultra-violet light to effectively kill germs and bacteria in its hospital rooms.

The Surfacide Helios system uses ultra-violet (UV-C) light energy, but unlike the single emitter method used in other disinfection systems of this type, the Surfacide Helios system incorporates three separate emitters.

“In order to kill an organism, a virus or bacterium, you need to deliver a certain amount of energy to zap it.” said Dr. Marina Keller, Hospital Epidemiologist. “So you need to calculate how much energy you’re delivering in order to be sure you’re killing them. The problem is that energy, when it’s released from the light in the machine, drops offs as you get farther away. The three light system helps us to reach all the surfaces in the room with the highest power of energy as opposed to a single emitter”.

The system also includes a validation component using a proprietary laser mapping technology. This results in a more intense level of energy being delivered to every surface, in less time.

The Surfacide Helios system can treat an entire patient room through its three towers typically in less than 20 minutes. Using this system after a patient has gone home helps to ensure that the room is safer for the next patient.

“Obviously for a hospital, patient safety is our primary responsibility and our top priority”, said Scott Batulis, CEO of the Greater Hudson Valley Health System. “We saw this as a great new technology for our hospital and for our patients.”

The closest hospital, to date, utilizing the three emitter system is St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica, New York, which has seen a 39% reduction in C.diff infections following a 12-month study on the effectiveness of Surfacide’s Helios triple emitter UV-C disinfection system.