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Decontamination device kills hospital germs20th of December 2012
A new decontamination device for use in hospital wards is said to have helped control an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug norovirus.
The Deprox device, which is around the size of a domestic bin, releases hydrogen peroxide vapour into the air which is claimed to kill all germs in the part of the hospital while the unit is in operation.
The units, created by Hygiene Solutions, work by "misting" or "fogging" to kill strains of flu, norovirus, clostridium difficile and MRSA. Deprox devices have been used at two Midlands hospitals in the UK - Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester and Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.
Four wards at the Alexandra Hospital had to be closed due to norovirus. After using the Deprox device, the outbreak was cleared within five days as opposed to the usual two weeks.
Stewart Messer, chief operating officer at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said of the unit: "It decontaminates everything and kills all known germs. It is the latest and most innovative method of controlling these bugs."
The decontamination cycle takes around two hours, though the affected area needs to remain out of action for four hours.
Mr Messer said the technique would not only be used to help control outbreaks but also to pro-actively fight hospital infections day-to-day, including systematically decontaminating wards and as part of the general cleaning regime.
"The system is almost 100 per cent fail-safe and this is a good example of the trust adopting the latest technology," he said.