Health Officials Discover New Technology to Kill Superbug MRSA
The recent surge in Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) cases have thrust the infection into the spotlight. Most commonly traced to health care environments (HA-MRSA), the new community acquired (CA-MRSA) strains are now being found in schools, universities and athletic settings.1 Hospitals concerned about the growing incidence of “superbugs” such as MRSA are turning to a new technology that converts alcohol into a nonflammable vapor, making it possible to sanitize surfaces that cannot be quickly sanitized by other methods.
This new system utilizes liquid carbon dioxide as a propellant to spray a fine alcohol mist. Using this process, oxygen is temporarily displaced by an envelope of rapidly expanding CO2 gas, rendering the vapor nonflammable. The technology, known as NAV-CO2, has recently stepped into the spotlight following the diagnosis of MRSA in previously healthy teens and young adults. CA-MRSA is becoming more prevalent in school, university and athletics environments.
“What makes NAV-CO2 technology unique is that it is non-corrosive, self-drying, and safe on almost all materials” says Robert Cook, of Biomist Inc., a company based in Park Ridge, Illinois. “The ease of use allows one person to effectively sanitize over 4000 square feet in under two hours. The vapor penetrates into cracks and crevices where pathogens hide, and disinfects areas beyond physical reach. For example, you can sanitize between the keys on a laptop and kill pathogens without corrosion. This is not possible with a spray bottle of bleach and a rag.”
“Veterans Administration hospitals are leading the way in U.S. MRSA prevention” says Charles Carman, a management consultant working with hospitals on infection prevention. “The difference is the leadership. VA Hospitals have made combating MRSA a priority, and have made investments in NAV-CO2 systems. Ultimately, VA Hospitals will recover the investment many times over in labor savings and achieve a hygienic environment for patients, visitors and staff.”
Attack the pathogens
A concern for ICPs on the front line at any time, but particularly important during a pandemic, is disinfection of environmental surfaces and equipment, to prevent transmission of pathogens. Droplets from sneezing and coughing associated with influenza can contaminate the environment quickly and efficiently.
Biomist Power Sanitizing System
How environmental disinfection has been traditionally performed has its drawbacks, Robert Cook, vice president, Biomist Inc., Park Ridge, IL, told HPN. He believes Biomist has developed a more effective method. “Current surface-disinfection techniques are often time-consuming and ineffective, utilizing a ‘hit or miss’ approach with trigger-spray bottles and sponge or rag wipe-down that can spread or re-introduce germs.”
“The Biomist Power Sanitizing System propels a nonflammable mist of concentrated alcohol up to 15 feet with a point-and-spray atomizer. Alcohol’s antimicrobial properties are well known, and our system eliminates its flammability by using CO2 to encase the alcohol vapor. Biomist Formula D2 is an EPA-approved hospital-grade disinfectant that’s tuberculocidal, virucidal, fungicidal, and is strong enough to kill Norovirus. It’s a pre-mixed solution of isopropyl alcohol and quaternary ammonium compounds. It dries in minutes, so no wiping or residual cleanup is required.”
“The swirling mist penetrates into cracks and crevices where pathogens hide,” explained Cook, “disinfecting areas beyond physical reach such as ceiling vents. Biomist Formula D2 is non-corrosive, so it’s perfect for disinfecting non-critical devices and sensitive electronic equipment like electrocardiogram machines, computers, telephones, and keyboards. Biomist is also safe for use in food-processing areas and cafeterias.”
Cook highlighted Biomist’s value in a pandemic. “During a crisis, Biomist is the first line of defense in preventing the spread of bacteria and viruses through effective surface disinfection. Our system kills germs faster, more effectively, and with far less labor than any previous method. In 2 hours, over 4,000 square feet can be sprayed without exposing patients and staff to noxious chemicals, such as chlorines, aldehydes, or phenols. Emergency departments, patient rooms, waiting rooms, and other areas affected by a surge of humanity can be disinfected in less time with less labor. Staff that would otherwise be dedicated to surface disinfection can be re-allocated and used more productively elsewhere.”
To see how Biomist works, go to www.biomistinc.com and click on “Watch presentation video.”