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Lower infection rates after introduction of a photocatalytic surface coating

  • John R. Pulliam
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to John R. Pulliam, MBA, LNHA, Budd Terrace at Wesley Woods, Emory Healthcare of Emory University, 1833 Clifton Rd, NE, Atlanta, GA 30329.
    Affiliations
    Budd Terrace at Wesley Woods, Emory Healthcare of Emory University, Atlanta, GA
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Published:December 16, 2014DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2014.10.023

      Highlights

      • Microbial loads on surfaces contribute to health care–acquired infections.
      • Photocatalytic materials destroy organic substances, including microbes.
      • Titanium dioxide is a photocatalytic substance that can be applied as a very safe coating.
      • Infections declined 30% after such a coating was introduced to our facility.
      • Results confirm the logic of the approach and suggest additional studies.
      Health care facilities contain potentially contaminated surfaces that are either difficult to sanitize or prone to recontamination. Photocatalytic materials exhibit antimicrobial activity when exposed to light and provide a safe, durable coating on a wide range of surfaces. We assessed infection rates before and after introduction of a photocatalytic coating in our facility. Infection rates decreased overall by 30%, a change that was statistically significant (P = .02). Similar changes to the built environment merit additional investigation.

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