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    UV-C provides peace of mind for healthcare clients, staff & caregivers

     

    January 20, 2022

     

    How UV-C disinfection devices have provided healthcare clients, staff & caregivers at the GGD in the Netherlands with peace of mind for more than 10 years.

     

    As the world moves through a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections, healthcare agencies continue to look for ways to protect the public from current and future threats. On the long term, we need measures that go beyond the first-tier protection provided by individual actions like social distancing and face masks.

     

    UV-C disinfection lighting1 has been around for more than 80 years, playing a crucial role in minimizing the threat of a variety of harmful pathogens. More recently, it has added an important layer of protection against COVID-19 in workplaces, schools, and public and private buildings.

    Signify Infographic
    Epidemiological and clinical trials prove that UV-C upper air disinfection technology reaches an efficacy of 80% in protecting people from airborne infection from viruses and bacteria, including those that cause influenza, tuberculosis and measles. It works by tackling infections close to the source, reducing the number of pathogen particles in the air. Recent research by Innovative Bioanalysis proved the efficacy of Philips UV-C disinfection wall mounted upper air luminaires. It revealed that they inactivated 99.99% of SARS-CoV-2 virus in the air of a room within 10 minutes, while at 20 minutes, the virus was below detectable levels.2

    We haven’t seen any infections since we installed the luminaires as a preventative measure more than ten years ago.”

     

    Roxana van Nispen-Dobrescu

    Pulmonologist of GGD Breda

    Safer visits to health agencies

     

    In the Netherlands, GGD agencies provide public health services in 25 regions across the country. Their tasks range from preventative healthcare programs to travel medicine and most recently, COVID-19 testing and vaccination programs. UV-C disinfection upper air luminaires have been in place at GGD facilities for more than ten years, initially to provide clients and staff with additional protection against the spread of tuberculosis (TB). Like COVID-19, TB is spread through highly infectious airborne pathogens, but in this case, the disease is spread by bacteria instead of a virus. In both cases, UV-C disinfection upper air devices are an effective solution since they have been proven to counter the spread of all viruses and bacteria tested to date.3

     

    Safer visits to health agencies
    “Based on my own experience and the scientific literature that is available, I think we should use UV-C disinfection equipment more broadly,” said Roxana van Nispen-Dobrescu, Pulmonologist of GGD Breda. “Before we began to use UV-C devices, some of our staff would get infected with TB by our clients. We haven’t seen any infections since we installed the luminaires as a preventative measure more than ten years ago. Moreover, we have had visitors infected with COVID-19 in our department. None of our staff got infected, while staff at other departments that are not equipped with UV-C disinfection devices did get infected.”

    Providing clients peace of mind

     

    While protecting staff against potential infections is important to the GGD, so is to make clients feel safe at their locations.

     

    “Some of our clients are hesitant to come in as they’re afraid of getting infected by harmful viruses or bacteria during their visit,” said Liesbeth Huizer, a Medical-technical employee who has been working at the GGD in Rotterdam for more than 40 years.

     

    According to Huizer, having UV-C really helps in providing clients with peace of mind. “Explaining to them that we have UV-C upper air luminaires installed on our ceilings really helps reassure them,” she said.

     

    Providing clients peace of mind

    "The system is so easy to install, and it doesn’t make any noise nor causes dry air or draft. The bluish glow really provides people the assurance that it is working. I’m surprised that even 1.5 years into this pandemic, we’re not making broader use of a technology that we have been using for 20 years and which has proven itself against TB and SARS CoV-2. It’s such an obvious measure.”


    “UV-C is a very common measure for TB infection control. We have been using UV-C devices to our full satisfaction at various locations for over 20 years,” adds Elske Beintema, Team manager of GGD Brabant-Zuidoost located in Eindhoven. “As maintenance and replacement of devices is part of the agreement we have, for us it is a very stable and reliable technology.”

    I’m surprised that even 1.5 years into this pandemic, we’re not making broader use of a technology we have been using for 20 years and which has proven itself against TB and SARS CoV-2. It’s such an obvious measure.”

     

    Liesbeth Huizer

    Medical-technical employee at GGD Rotterdam

    Across the border in Belgium, Technical Director Jacky Fafchamps at the University Medical Center St. Pierre in Brussels explains that the hospital recently extended the use of UV-C disinfection upper air devices to the Emergency departments for children and adults. UV-C devices are installed in locations including the isolation department for other infectious diseases, Radiology, Pulmonology and Lung Function.

     

    “We have been using UV-C disinfection upper air luminaires for over ten years,” said Jacky Fafchamps. “We started using this after our Chief Medical Officer for infectious diseases read the scientific literature. We’re very happy with the additional layer of protection that this provides to our visitors and staff and recently decided to install more UV-C disinfection upper air devices.”

    It’s clear there is still work to be done both to curtail the spread of the current pandemic and to safeguard public health in future. With key health services in the Netherlands and Belgium convinced of the effectiveness of UV-C disinfection, it’s clear that opportunities exist to implement this technology more broadly.

     

    Learn more about the value of UV-C disinfection here: UV-C disinfection services

    Footnotes:

     

    1 UV-C light is a powerful disinfectant with an impressive track record in breaking down the DNA and RNA of viruses and bacteria, according to Malayeri et al. Fluence (UV Dose) Required to Achieve Incremental Log Inactivation of Bacteria, Protozoa, Viruses and Algae, 2016
    Research conducted at the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) at Boston University proved the effectiveness of Signify’s UV-C light sources in inactivating SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, on surfaces, states Nadia Storm et al., Rapid and complete inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 by ultraviolet-C irradiation, 2020. The UV-C irradiance used in this study was 0.849 mW/cm2.
    Further research by NEIDL into their effectiveness revealed that the UK Kent and South African variants of the virus were also susceptible to inactivation by UV-C light. This bodes well for hopes that it will effectively inactivate future variants of the virus.

    2 According to results obtained from a laboratory test conducted by Innovative Bioanalysis 2021, a CAP, CLIA, AABB Certified Safety Reference Laboratory, in a room with sufficient air circulation

    3 Fluence (UV Dose) Required to Achieve Incremental Log Inactivation of Bacteria, Protozoa, Viruses and Algae Revised, updated and expanded by Adel Haji Malayeri, Madjid Mohseni, Bill Cairns and James R. Bolton. With earlier contributions by Gabriel Chevrefils (2006) and Eric Caron (2006) With peer review by Benoit Barbeau, Harold Wright (1999) and Karl G. Linden

    About the author:

    Elco van Groningen


    Elco van Groningen

    Global Press Officer

    For further information, please contact:

    Signify Corporate Communications
    Elco van Groningen
    Tel: +31 6 10 86 55 19
    Email: elco.van.groningen@signify.com

    About Signify

     

    Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals and consumers and lighting for the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact connected lighting systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. With 2020 sales of EUR 6.5 billion, we have approximately 37,000 employees and are present in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We achieved carbon neutrality in 2020, have been in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index since our IPO for four consecutive years and were named Industry Leader in 2017, 2018 and 2019. News from Signify is located at the Newsroom, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors can be found on the Investor Relations page.

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