New disinfection technique could revolutionize hospital room cleaning

A Queen's University infectious disease expert has collaborated in the development of a disinfection system that may change the way hospital rooms all over the world are cleaned as well as stop bed bug outbreaks in hotels and apartments.

"This is the future, because many hospital deaths are preventable with better cleaning methods," says Dick Zoutman, who is also Quinte Health Care's new Chief of Staff. "It has been reported that more than 100,000 people in North America die every year due to at a cost of $30 billion. That's 100,000 people every year who are dying from largely preventable infections."

Dr. Zoutman has also used this disinfection technology to kill . A major U.S. hotel chain has already expressed interest in the technology because of its potential to save the company millions of dollars in lost revenue and infected furniture.

Dr. Zoutman worked in collaboration with Dr. Michael Shannon of Medizone International at laboratories located in Innovation Park, Queen's University. Medizone is commercializing the technology and the first are scheduled for the first quarter of 2012.

The new technology involves pumping a Medizone-specific and vapour into a room to completely sterilize everything – including floors, walls, drapes, mattresses, chairs and other surfaces. It is far more effective in killing bacteria than wiping down a room.

Dr. Zoutman says the technique is similar to what we now know Mother Nature uses to kill bacteria in humans. When an antibody attacks a germ, it generates ozone and a minute amount of hydrogen peroxide producing a new highly reactive compound that is profoundly lethal against bacteria, viruses and mold.

"It works well for Mother Nature and is working very well for us," says Dr. Zoutman

There are other disinfecting technologies that involve pumping gas into a room, but Medizone's method is the only one that sterilizes as well as surgical instrument cleaning. It also leaves a pleasant smell and doesn't affect any medical equipment in the room. The entire disinfection process is also faster than other methods – it takes less than one hour.

Dr. Zoutman says the technology could also be used in food preparation areas and processing plants after outbreaks such as listeria and to disinfect cruise ships after an infection outbreak.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

'Superbugs' on the rise in Canadian hospitals

Nov 07, 2008

Although infection control has been substantially ramped up in Canadian hospitals since the SARS crisis of 2003, the number of resistant bacterial infections post-SARS have multiplied even faster, a new Queen's ...

Light technology to combat hospital infections

Nov 15, 2010

A pioneering lighting system that can kill hospital superbugs – including MRSA and C.diff – has been developed by researchers at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

Recommended for you

Dengue fever strikes models in Japan

1 hour ago

A worsening outbreak of dengue fever in Japan has claimed its first celebrities—two young models sent on assignment to the Tokyo park believed to be its source.

Japanese researchers develop 30-minute Ebola test

1 hour ago

Japanese researchers said Tuesday they had developed a new method to detect the presence of the Ebola virus in 30 minutes, with technology that could allow doctors to quickly diagnose infection.

Senegal monitors contacts of 1st Ebola patient

14 hours ago

Senegalese authorities on Monday were monitoring everyone who was in contact with a student infected with Ebola who crossed into the country, and who has lost three family members to the disease.

Cerebral palsy may be hereditary

20 hours ago

Cerebral palsy is a neurological developmental disorder which follows an injury to the immature brain before, during or after birth. The resulting condition affects the child's ability to move and in some ...

19 new dengue cases in Japan, linked to Tokyo park

Sep 01, 2014

Japan is urging local authorities to be on the lookout for further outbreaks of dengue fever, after confirming another 19 cases that were contracted at a popular local park in downtown Tokyo.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Squirrel
4 / 5 (1) Dec 09, 2011
But will it kill bugs buried under dirt that standard methods wipe away? I suspect this method requires that a room has a precleaning preparation before the ozone and hydrogen peroxide gets to work.
Isaacsname
not rated yet Dec 09, 2011
But will it kill bugs buried under dirt that standard methods wipe away? I suspect this method requires that a room has a precleaning preparation before the ozone and hydrogen peroxide gets to work.


Good point, there's nothing like good 'ol fashion elbow grease.

You made me think back to when it was discovered that even though hospitals had been sterilizing the tubing used for non-invasive surgical techniques and " other " things, the insides weren't getting clean at all, they subsequently found things like blood and fecal matter in " clean " equipment .

*barfs*
rwinners
3 / 5 (2) Dec 10, 2011
I wonder. I do hope this process is 100 percent effective, because if one deadly little bug survives the treatment, it could be the beginning of the end for all of us.
Tausch
4 / 5 (1) Dec 10, 2011
I have told all bugs of the world to turn on their gene expressions that result in higher tolerance to O3 and H2O2 gas.

Let no bug say I did not warn them. They told me they insist in living with humans, no matter how abominable the before and after conditions.