Access Now: AORN COVID-19 Clinical Support

Home >  News >  August, 2016

Study: UV Lamps Reduce Bacteria on Computer Keyboards by 99%

A new study suggests that UV lamps could help lower the risk of healthcare-associated infections.

Published: August 16, 2016

EFFECTIVE CLEANING Ultraviolet lamps can effectively decontaminate high-touch objects in hospital ICUs.

Ultraviolet light could help decontaminate your hard-to-clean, high-touch areas like computer keyboards, according to a new study's findings.

Researchers from the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Ill., looked at whether UV-C lamps installed over computer keyboards and mice could help kill harmful microorganisms in intensive care units. They found that the lamp was able to effectively kill bioburden that can lead to patient infections.

Researchers first took baseline samples of more than 200 keyboards located in the hospital's intensive care unit to determine whether there were any bacteria present. Of the 203 baseline samples, 193 of them (roughly 95%) tested positive. Researchers found numerous strains of bacteria linked to healthcare associated-infections on these baseline samples, including Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Enterococcus, Pseudomonas, Pasteurella, Klebsiella, Acinetobacter and Enterobacter.

After exposing the keyboards to UV light, the researchers then tested them again for bacteria. In this post-UV sample, 94% were sterile. Of the 13 that showed bacterial growth, 6 showed only a single colony-forming unit (CFU) of the bacteria. Overall, the researchers say that the UV lamp helped reduce bacteria by more than 99%.

"The UV lamp effectively decontaminates keyboards with minimal interruption and low UV exposure," the study authors write. "Further studies are required to determine reduction of HAI transmission with use of these devices."

Kendal Gapinski

Also in the News...

COVID-19 Call to Action
Virtual OR Excellence Still Going Strong
Lessons Learned During the Pandemic
Handle Workplace Legal Issues Like a Pro
The Secret to Safer Surgery
Remember Why You Work in Surgery
Virtual OR Excellence Opens on a High Note

New to Outpatient Surgery Magazine?
Sign-up to continue reading this article.
Register Now
Have an account? Please log in:
Email Address:
  Remember my login on this computer

advertiser banner

Other Articles That May Interest You

Whole Room Disinfection Makes a Whole Lotta Sense

Use high-tech systems to supplement the manual cleaning of high-touch surfaces.

Infection Prevention: 10 Sterile Processing Benchmarks

Measure your department's performance with these key indicators.

12 Tips for Instrument Care and Cleaning

If you take care of your instruments, they'll take care of you.