Shining a Light on Infection Prevention in the NICU

Karen McNew McGuire's picture
By Karen McNew McGuire on January 25, 2018

 

Preventing the spread of germs and reducing the risk of infections is important everywhere in health care, but nowhere is it more important than in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

At Carilion Children’s NICU at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, new UVC light boxes disinfect personal items, such as cell phones and glasses, in order to protect the babies from exposure.
 
The light boxes emit UVC light, which disinfects items without damaging them and boasts a 99.99 percent success rate.

Each cycle takes just 45 seconds—less time than visitors and employees spend washing their hands before entering the NICU.
 
Clinical nurse specialist Kim Ramsey explained why parents and visitors are so enthusiastic about the new technology.
 
“They want to communicate with their family about how their baby is doing; take pictures, video that kind of thing,” she said. “Parents know their phone is clean after it has been in this device.”
 
NICU staff are grateful to the Carilion Foundation for its support of their young patients’ well-being. The light boxes were funded by donations to the Foundation from the community.