in order to create the optimum conditions to eliminate organisms within an enclosed space and create a 6-log (99.9999%) sporicidal kill on every exposed surface. The systems are sophisticated pieces of

machinery, but the process can be simply understood: l Step 1. Preparation: The Bioquell decontamination system warms up, getting ready to disperse the vapour. You do not need to reach or wait for temperature or humidity levels to begin.

l Step 2. Vaporisation: The Bioquell decontamination system emits the vapour into the enclosed area and fills the space, depositing a micro condensation on every exposed surface, including surrounding complex shapes and crevices.

Step 3

l Step 3. Dwell: With vaporisation complete, the system enters the dwell phase allowing the peroxide to remain in contact with surfaces and kill organisms.

l Step 4. Aeration: Your HVAC system, high-powered Bioquell aeration units using catalytic conversion or a combination of both safely removes all of the hydrogen peroxide vapour from the enclosed area. When aerated with Bioquell units, the vapour is converted into water (as humidity) and oxygen.

Step 4

ABHR products are located at the patient bedside to ensure that all-important compliance with opportunities for hand hygiene at critical touch points, in addition to all clinical areas, corridors, entry/exit points and public areas. Proven efficacy of ABHRs is crucial to ensure products are effective against those pathogens that cause infections in patients. While we are in the height of this novel coronavirus pandemic, products should demonstrate compliance with EN 14476 European test norm for virucidal efficacy or have limited spectrum activity against vaccinia virus according to EN 14476.

Decontamination technology With strict social safeguards followed to avoid the spread of infections, wards temporarily set up to care for COVID-19 patients needed to begin to revert to ‘regular’ wards. A solution was required to manage the increased potential environmental


contamination risk facing the patients admitted to these wards after the conversion, and one which would ensure all patient contact surfaces were exposed to the disinfection process. This was not only important from a personal health risk perspective, but also for the mental wellbeing of those admitted to the facility as delayed treatments for ailments have been commonplace globally due to a fear of nosocomial transmission. An automated decontamination option helped convert wards back to normal use. Bioquell, part of the Ecolab group, is a hydrogen peroxide vapour bio- decontamination company offering a Rapid Bio-Decontamination Service (RBDS) that can be quickly deployed, allowing a fast turnaround of the space. The Bioquell process consists of a hydrogen peroxide vapour bio-decontamination utilising 35% hydrogen peroxide. Each cycle is automated

After a cycle has been completed, the room can be accessed without any additional cleaning or wiping down of the area. The area is left residue-free and every exposed surface, including sensitive electronics, high touch areas and difficult to disinfect locations, are decontaminated. Throughout the entire process, safety checks are undertaken to ensure no areas outside of the target enclosure are impacted and, typically, staff can continue to work as needed outside of the decontamination zone. Eliminating SARS-CoV-2 from surfaces in the ward is extremely important in order to prevent further infections. With the high transmission rate of SARS-CoV-2 and its ability to survive on surfaces for days, it is essential that any cleaning process used is able to fully eliminate surface contamination. With an efficient process, the areas can be back in operation quickly while ensuring the safety of patients and staff.

In this instance, the hospital converted two wards dedicated for COVID-19 back to their original use quickly. Each ward decontamination not only included patient areas, but also common areas, corridors and staff rooms to ensure minimal contamination risk from the environment. In less than 24 hours per ward, the hospital was able to reclaim these spaces with little to no disruption of surrounding areas during the entire process.

The decontamination process was validated using Geobacillus stearothermophilus


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