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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(10), 940; doi:10.3390/ijerph13100940

Time Effectiveness of Ultraviolet C Light (UVC) Emitted by Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) in Reducing Stethoscope Contamination

1
Laboratory of Environmental Hygiene, Department of Molecular and Developmental Medicine, University of Siena, Via Aldo Moro 2, 53100 Siena, Italy
2
Post Graduate School of Public Health, University of Siena, Via Aldo Moro 2, 53100 Siena, Italy
3
FeT Elettronica S.n.c Via A. Volta 28, 53036 Poggibonsi (Siena), Italy
4
Department of Medical Biotechnologies, University of Siena, Via Aldo Moro 2, 53100 Siena, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Daniela Haluza, Hanns Moshammer and Stana Simic
Received: 2 August 2016 / Revised: 7 September 2016 / Accepted: 15 September 2016 / Published: 23 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UV-Radiation: From Physics to Impacts)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1233 KB, uploaded 23 September 2016]   |  

Abstract

Today it is well demonstrated that stethoscopes can be as contaminated as hands, which are a recognized source of Health-Care Associated Infections (HCAIs). Ultraviolet C (UVC) light has proven disinfection capacity and the innovative UVC technology of Light Emitting Diode (LED) shows several potential benefits. To verify whether the use of UVC LEDs is effective and reliable in stethoscope membrane disinfection after prolonged use, a pre-post intervention study was conducted. A total of 1668 five-minute cycles were performed on two UVC LEDs to simulate their use; thereafter, their disinfection capacity was tested on stethoscope membranes used on a previously auscultated volunteer. Then, a further 1249 cycles were run and finally the LEDs were tested to assess performance in reducing experimental contamination by Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli on the stethoscope membrane. Baseline volunteer contamination identified 104 Colony Forming Units (CFUs) while treated Petri dishes had 12 and 15 CFUs (p < 0.001). Statistically significant differences (p < 0.001) were also found relating to the reduction of specific bacteria: in particular, after treatment no CFU were observed for S. aureus and E. coli. UVC LEDs demonstrated the capacity to maintain high levels of disinfection after more than 240 h of use and they were effective against common microorganisms that are causative agents of HCAIs. View Full-Text
Keywords: disinfection; ultraviolet; LED; stethoscope; health-care associated infections disinfection; ultraviolet; LED; stethoscope; health-care associated infections
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MDPI and ACS Style

Messina, G.; Fattorini, M.; Nante, N.; Rosadini, D.; Serafini, A.; Tani, M.; Cevenini, G. Time Effectiveness of Ultraviolet C Light (UVC) Emitted by Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) in Reducing Stethoscope Contamination. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 940.

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