Norview Lodge is on the cutting edge of disease and infection-control among long-term care facilities in Ontario.
The facility recently deployed ultraviolet disinfection units that can sterilize entire rooms in no time flat.
Health-care facilities that have adopted the technology report significant decreases in super-bug infections such as C. difficile, norovirus, MRSA, and the like. The technology is also effective against viruses that cause influenza and the common cold.
“We keep all statistics from year to year,” says Bill Nolan, head administrator at the long-term care home on the Queensway West in Simcoe. “As far as a comparison, we can do that after a complete season.”
The technology has a market value of $195,000.
Manufacturer Class One, of Kitchener, provided the equipment at a $90,000 discount. The Who-Did-It Club of Simcoe provided $75,000 while Norfolk County chipped in $30,000.
J.J. Knott of Simcoe, a member of the Who-Did-It Club, expects UV technology to become standard in long-term care homes before long.
“People become more immuno-compromised as they get older,” Knott said Thursday. “And the bugs these days aren’t getting any easier to kill. They’ve become resistant to antibiotics and whatever else we have to throw to them.
“You have to come up with new weapons.”
UV disinfection is a Class One speciality. The company offered the equipment at a discount because it wants to get the word out that this is an effective means of controlling pathogens.
Fixed UV sanitizers have been installed in washrooms at Norview. They are turned on after every use, leaving behind a sterile environment for the next person.
Mobile units are wheeled into rooms where harmful viruses and bacteria are suspected. Rooms are vacated, the door is closed and – before long – the units are ready to sanitize another space.
“It’s cool,” says Who-Did-It Club member Bill Renton. “It only takes 15 minutes to sterilize a room. You can do a lot of rooms in a short period of time.”
The Who-Did-It Club lends medical equipment to the community free of charge.
Members long ago recognized the benefits of UV sterilization. The club has a custom-built UV sterilization unit at its headquarters on Hillcrest Road. It is used to sanitize hospital beds, wheelchairs and other large items.
Ultraviolet light exists at the blue end of the electro-magnetic spectrum. It is a natural component of sunlight and is responsible for causing sunburns.
UV light’s disinfecting properties were recognized more than 100 years ago. UV sanitizers such as those at Norview have been used for years in municipal treatment plants to produce safe, potable water.