Disinfection devices in ICU sinks dramatically reduce superbugs, study finds

Putting disinfection devices onto the siphons of sinks can help manage multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa colonization in intensive care units, according to a study published in Journal of Hospital Infection.

Researchers examined the efficacy of placing devices on sink siphons that apply heat and electromechanical vibration to disinfect the draining fluid. In April 2013, these devices were installed on sinks in a sub-unit of a hospital's ICU, called ICU A in the study. In another sub-unit, ICU B, they replaced sink siphons with polyvinyl chloride plastic siphons.

The baseline P. aeruginosa colonization rate of sinks was 51 percent in ICU A and 46 percent in ICU B. They found that after the devices were installed in ICU A, colonization decreased to 5 percent, whereas the colonization rate increased to 62 percent in ICU B, which had the plastic siphons.

In February 2016, the hospital installed the disinfection devices onto the sinks in ICU B as well. The colonization rate after the installation fell to 2.4 percent.

Multidrug-resistant P. aeruginosa colonization in ICU patients decreased from 8.3 per 1,000 admitted patients to 0 per 1,000 admitted patients in ICU A, and from 2.7 per 1,000 admitted patients to 0.5 per 1000 admitted patients in ICU B.

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