Why care homes should install antimicrobial lighting

Written by

Tim Greenhalgh

Posted on

July 21, 2021

Posted in

Home Buildings + 1 more

The pandemic has hit every sector of the country hard but none more so than care and nursing homes where Covid-19 wreaked devastation on an appalling scale.

The brutal truth is that the sector was given astonishingly poor advice in the early months of the coronavirus rampage and was turned upside down early on by the influx of untested elderly patients from overstretched hospitals.

The quality of official advice has thankfully improved but care homes and nursing homes continue to labour under highly stressful conditions where the threat of viral outbreak is ever-present, despite the initially effective vaccine campaign.

Nursing homes and care homes are following the advice from official sources as well as the often more astute scientific and academic advice in an attempt to ensure that the 37,895 Covid-19 deaths registered between 14 March 2020 and 5 February 2021 are not multiplied exponentially.

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Continuous protection

New strains of the virus continue to appear and to cause deep concerns, with the fear that one or more of them might prove resistant to the vaccines. Nursing homes and care homes can continue to intensify their antimicrobial cleaning regimes along with the raft of procedures that minimise potential infections.

But even the most exhaustive cleaning regimes cannot provide continuous protection.

Providers are doing their level best to ensure that they comply with Regulation 12 of Health and Social Care Act 2008, which tasks them to prevent and control the spread of infection. Care planning must be timely to maintain people’s health, safety and welfare.

In the new Age of Viruses, care homes and nursing homes can take one decision that would be an effective bulwark against the deadly threats from not only Covid-19 but also comorbid conditions and infections, ranging from urinary tract infections to lower respiratory infections and cases of colonised MRSA and C. difficile. That choice is to invest in Vyv antimicrobial lighting solutions.

Antimicrobial LED light

Vyv antimicrobial LED light uses a wavelength which specifically attacks pathogens and creates an inhospitable environment for microbes to grow on any surface. This means that nursing homes and care homes are able to combat viruses*, bacteria, fungi, yeast, mould and mildew, working continuously 24/7 to reduce the bioburden and create a cleaner, healthier environment.

Antimicrobial lighting decreases the presence of pathogens permanently and puts the providers  back in control  of the bioburden.

Vyv antimicrobial light is not ultraviolet (UV) light, which is inherently dangerous because it destroys the cellular structure in all living things (including people). Vyv’s technology uses a selected light wavelength that meets the international standard for continuous and unrestricted use around humans (IEC 62471, 2019).

There are countless advantages to antimicrobial light as an ideal complement to traditional ways of cleaning, as well as using it as part of a framework aimed at reducing the use of antibiotics and decreasing the colonisation of antibiotic- or multi-drug-resistant organisms.

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Multi-layered defence system

Studies show that Vyv’s antimicrobial LED light technology can be used effectively without negatively impacting materials like stainless steel, glass or plastic, This new class of antimicrobial light cleans continuously, as part of a multi-layered antimicrobial defence system.

Every care home and nursing home facility works around a stark equation, which is that aging residents in vulnerable health live together in close proximity amplified by constant threat posed by bacterial growth and colonised infections. Add to this regular coming and going of residents and visitors, increasing the threat of viral and bacterial transmission, as well as the growing inefficacy of antibiotics.

This creates conditions where new ways of thinking about protection, cleanliness and wellbeing are essential. The viral storm has given us an opportunity to re-imagine facilities and embrace very effective novel forms of defence.

It’s recognised thar mopping and wiping are only 32% effective in killing bacteria, and most cleaning sprays must be left wet on a surface for 5-9 minutes before wiping to make good on their claim of disinfection.

And to be frank, it is not practical to think that every surface in a care facility can be manually cleaned every day, let alone continuously cleaned throughout the day.

New level of clean

Achieving a new level of clean—a “microbial clean” that will have a real impact on viruses, bacteria and infection levels—requires an entirely new approach, one that will have a significant measurable impact, and require no active management.

The Vyv antimicrobial lighting solutions mean that there is much less of a chance for residents to pick up or transmit viruses and germs. Vyv’s lights can be configured precisely to target specific areas throughout a care facility where viruses and bacteria are known or suspected to be present, or likely to grow.

Vyv’s antimicrobial light technology is based on a patented single LED diode that emits a specialised light, enabling it to illuminate large areas such as common dining rooms or hallways, while at the same time providing continuous protection inside small or hard-to-reach spaces, such as nurses’ workstations or medicine-dispensing areas.

Depleting bacteria and preventing viral spread  across the care home environment, specifically in “hot spots” like dining rooms, common sitting rooms, physical therapy areas, kitchens and showers would go a long way toward lowering the overall bioburden. Knocking down bacteria and other pathogens accomplishes the goal of decreasing the opportunity for infection to weaken residents’ health.

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Pathogens knocked out

The installation of antimicrobial lighting throughout the care home environment means that pathogens are aggressively and continuously knocked down at their source and this should help to decrease the need for antibiotics among the residents..

It’s worth thinking through the benefits of Vyv lighting where pathogens have their growth diminished to the point where there are no visible colonies. The opportunity for bacteria to amass the volume necessary to infect a resident—especially one in vulnerable health—would no longer exist.

At the same time, when new bacteria or viruses are introduced in whatever way, they would immediately be met by antimicrobial lighting, preventing them from gaining traction.

Infection control and prevention has to be a priority target to ensure the overall health of care home and nursing home residents, and providers will want to develop new ways of thinking that will prevent the appalling consequences of inadequate defences when the next health crisis hits. Vyv’s unique lighting is the effective solution.

*Testing on a non-enveloped virus (MS2 bacteriophage) showed a 99.985% reduction in controlled laboratory testing in 6 hours on hard surfaces. MRSA and E. coli showed 90%+ reduction in controlled laboratory testing in 24 hours on hard surfaces. Results may vary depending on the amount of light that is reaching the surfaces in the space where the product is installed and the length of time of exposure. Use of Vyv antimicrobial light is not intended to replace manual cleaning.

 

Find out more about antimicrobial lighting in care homes and nursing homes.

0333 123 5464

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