October 7, 2021

Back table UV light decreases environmental contamination

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

In this study, researchers from Colorado Joint Replacement, Denver, find that a back table ultraviolet light (UV) decreases environmental contamination near the operative field, which may lead to a decrease in joint infections.

Either a back table germicidal UV light-emitting diode or a sham device was used during total joint arthroplasty procedures in 12 ORs (6 with UV light, 6 with sham device).


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Eight Tryptic Soy Agar petri plates were placed on a table near the operative field and exposed to air. One plate was removed every hour over an 8-hour time span, and the plates were incubated for 48 hours—colony forming units (CFUs) were recorded at 24 and 48 hours.

There was a statistically significant difference in total CFUs between the UV light versus sham light at 24 hours (27 vs 95) and at 48 hours (38 vs 122).

After multivariate analysis, the 24- and 48-hour counts and the predictors UV light and hour of plate removal were statistically significantly associated with CFU counts. The predictor variables explained 15.8% and 23% of the variance in CFU counts at 24- and 48 hours, respectively.

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