Ultraviolet Light (UVL) has been shown to kill dangerous bacteria which frequently cause infections in burn unit patients including Staphylococcus aureus (staph), Pseudomonas, and Clostridium difficile spores. In 2017, the Women’s Board purchased one of these UVLs for The Johns Hopkins Burn Center at Bayview, the only adult burn center in Maryland verified by the American Burn Association, to be used for the potential improvement of infection rates in burn patients.
This six-foot tall robotic-looking device can reduce bacteria in patients’ rooms in merely five minutes. (View video.) While patients are out of their rooms daily cleaning with the UVL device easily and quickly helps prevent medically significant illness. With 20 patient beds at full capacity in the Burn Unit, this keeps our robotic friend busy!
The UVL bought by The Women’s Board for the Burn Center is one of several modalities used to decrease infection rates in burn patients. Its use correlated with a huge reduction in blood infection rates of patients, which was their biggest problem. Healing and grafted skin infections are also a concern for burn patients. Reducing infection rates with UVL can lead to faster healing, faster skin grafting, faster discharge to rehabilitation, and consequently decreased costs.
The immense success of the UVL device in the Burn Center started a trend at Bayview to purchase more of these lights for other areas of the hospital where infections can also be problematic, such as the Intensive Care Units and inpatient floors. When patients have less infections, they require less antibiotics, and healing and discharge from the hospital can occur faster. One UVL purchase by The Women’s Board led to a revelation in patient care that has multiplied its beneficial effect throughout Bayview hospital.