St. Mary’s Hospital Study Finds Advanced Air Purification Technology Reduced Healthcare-Associated Infections Including COVID by 45%
NEW YORK – A new scientific study published this month in The Journal of Hospital Infection finds cutting-edge air purification technology installed at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children reduced healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) including COVID by 45%. The study, which took place over a three-year period and was already underway when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, is thought to be the first of its kind, examining the impact of advanced air purification technology in a real-world hospital setting.
The study results provide a window into the significant advances that could be made in reducing the transmission of airborne viruses and bacteria in hospitals. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HAIs account for an estimated 1.7 million infections and 99,000 associated deaths each year. Beyond hospitals, the findings point to a proven solution for reducing the spread of COVID-19 in other indoor settings such as schools, restaurants and commercial office buildings where the risk of transmitting the virus is the highest.
“At a time when the FDA and healthcare professionals are demanding real world evidence and with the pandemic as a backdrop, we’re very proud to have been able to conduct and publish these real-world results on the impact of this technology in disinfecting breathing zone air,” said Judith Fine, MSc, MPH, Director of Infection Control for St. Mary’s.
“This progress reflects the extraordinary commitment from our entire staff and their desire for comprehensive infection control” said Dr. Edwin Simpser, President and CEO, St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children.
The study was conducted over 30 months with over 100,000 patient-days. Following implementation of advanced air purification technology, HAIs at St. Mary’s went from an average of 11.9/1,000 patient-days to an average of 6.6/1000 patient-days – a 45% reduction. Wound infections were found to fall by 63% and tracheal infections by 89%. When COVID-19 mitigation measures were added early in the pandemic, infections dropped another 47%.
These results were made possible with the rooftop, facility-wide installation of Active Particle Control technology from SecureAire. Current air purification technology, including HEPA filters, fail to eliminate most particles less than three microns from the breathing zone space. COVID-19, other viruses, bacteria, fungi, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are all smaller than three microns and are not affected by air flow. Active Particle Control technology uses charged particles to force contaminants less than three microns to cluster together, increasing their size and mass, making them susceptible to air flow. These larger conglomerations of particles are then moved to the Active Particle Control filter, where they are inactivated and destroyed.
Mark Ereth, MD, Emeritus Professor, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and Chief Medical Officer, SecureAire Technologies, LLC, stated: “Eliminating hospital associated infections is a top priority for healthcare systems and federal regulators. This critical breakthrough in air purification represents an unobtrusive, affordable engineering solution for hospitals and other care facilities to consider when working to protect their patients, visitors and staff. HEPA technology may have been sufficient in 1945, but it no longer meets the needs of hospitals in the 21st century. This innovation is long overdue and now has demonstrated its effectiveness in the first real-world trial in history.”
“Bacterial spores, like Anthrax and Clostridium, represent some of the biggest challenges to disinfection of our built environments,” said Mark Hernandez, PhD, Professor and Director, Environmental Engineering Microbiology and Disinfection at the University of Colorado Boulder. “The ability to inactivate these types of microbes, which SecureAire technology has done, indicates successful disinfection of many nosocomial airborne pathogens, including bacteria and viruses.”
About St. Mary’s Hospital for Children
St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children has been the primary provider of long-term and rehabilitative care for New York’s most critically ill and injured children since the 1870s. Located in the Borough of Queens, the 124 bed hospital system is New York City’s only provider of post-acute pediatric care. St. Mary’s Healthcare System is one of only a handful of organizations around the country that is dedicated to providing intensive rehabilitation, specialized care, and education to children with special needs and life-limiting conditions.
About SecureAire Technologies, LLC
SecureAire is the premier air purification company in the United States serving both the residential and business markets. SecureAire’s proprietary, cutting-edge Active Particle Control Technologies represent the most valuable scientific progress in air filtration in decades. This technology has been proven to eliminate superfine contaminants in the air which traditional HEPA filters are unable to neutralize, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Figures for Reference:
Active Particle Control mechanism of action
Study Design: Progressive Infection Control Measures
Results: Health care associated infections