A Queen’s University (located in Kingston, Ontario, Canada) infectious disease expert has collaborated in the development of a disinfection system that may change the way hospital rooms are cleaned, as well as stop bed bug outbreaks in hotels and apartments. Dick Zoutman, who is also Quinte Health Care’s new Chief of Staff, says his disinfection technology is getting interest from a major hotel chain because of its potential to save millions of dollars in lost revenue and infected furniture.
Dr. Zoutman worked in collaboration with Dr. Michael Shannon of Medizone International at laboratories located in Innovation Park at Queen’s University. Medizone is commercializing the technology and the first deliveries are scheduled for the first quarter of 2012. The new technology involves pumping a Medizone-specific ozone and hydrogen peroxide vapour gas mixture into a room to completely sterilize everything – including floors, walls, drapes, mattresses, chairs and other surfaces.
Dr. Zoutman says the technique is similar to natural reactions the body uses to kill bacteria. When an antibody attacks a germ, it generates ozone and a minute amount of hydrogen peroxide, which in turn produces a highly reactive compound that is profoundly lethal against bacteria, viruses and mold. “It works well for Mother Nature and is working very well for us,” says Dr. Zoutman
There are other disinfecting technologies that involve pumping gas into a room, but Medizone’s method can simultaneously sterilize surgical instruments. It also leaves a pleasant smell and doesn’t affect any medical equipment in the room. The entire disinfection process takes less than one hour. Dr. Zoutman says the technology could also be used in food preparation areas and processing plants after outbreaks such as listeria. Study results on the process are published in the December issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.