Insights: 4 Reasons Why Hospitals Need Photocatalytic Oxidation To Fight MRSA

Fighting MRSA infections in hospitals starts with preventing the bacteria from spreading in the first place with Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) air-cleaning technology.

Hospitals are increasingly challenged by rising patient infection rates, especially from hospital-acquired infections / healthcare associated infections (HAIs), such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). MRSA causes about 80,000 infections and 11,000 deaths annually in the U.S. (CDC), as well as up to $4.2 billion in costs (Pew Charitable Trusts). And it’s especially difficult to remove from indoor spaces because the bacteria travel easily through the air.

How can hospitals fight MRSA? The best way is to prevent MRSA from spreading in the first place with Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) air-cleaning technology that specializes in airborne infection control. PCO systems destroy all bacteria, such as MRSA, and integrate seamlessly with existing HVAC systems, thus preventing recirculation through ventilation ducts.

Here are four reasons why hospitals should use PCO technology to fight MRSA:

1) Prevent MRSA from spreading

MRSA travels throughout hospitals by being recirculated in air ducts of an HVAC system. PCO technology connects with an HVAC’s air-handling unit (AHU) and stops the spread of MRSA since it acts as a first line of defense and destroys the bacteria. By converting the bacteria into harmless carbon dioxide and water before they can enter an indoor space, PCO systems significantly reduce MRSA cross-contamination.

2) Destroy 99.99% of MRSA bacteria

Where traditional HEPA filters only catch bacteria, PCO systems destroy bacteria prior to the particles even entering a filter, thus bolstering the efficiency of in-place air filtration and preventing bacteria and mold colonization inside the HVAC system. In fact, PCO systems eliminate 99.99% of MRSA, anthrax, staph, E. coli, endotoxins, mycotoxins, viruses and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) on contact. Additionally, the oxidation process that destroys the bacteria and disinfects the air takes place within the air cleaner, thus ensuring occupant safety.

3) Strengthen traditional cleaning methods

Hospitals typically use in-room air filtration and surface cleaning as the primary means of controlling MRSA; however, these methods fall short. MRSA bacteria can slip through a traditional air filter and are then recirculated within the hospital via the HVAC system. This means that right after surfaces are cleaned, MRSA bacteria are reintroduced into the space and can potentially recontaminate surfaces. PCO technology ends this vicious contamination cycle for the hospital infection preventionist by working in conjunction with traditional methods to eliminate MRSA and other bacteria at the source.

4) Improve the Standardized Infection Ratio (SIR) for hospitals

The Standardized Infection Ratio (SIR) measures how well a hospital can control HAIs, and the lower the percentage, the better. The current national hospital SIR average is 92.07%, but this number can be drastically reduced – and therefore improved – by adopting PCO technology. In fact, hospitals that have done so average a SIR of 52.14%.

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