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Reducing Airborne Microbes in the Surgical Operating Theater and Other Clinical Settings: A Study Utilizing a Unique Photocatalytic Reactor Biocide Unit

Cram, Nicholas MEng, CBET, CHSP; Shipman, Nolan MD; Quarles, John M. PhD

Peer-Review Paper

The authors provide a research study examining the airborne microbial killing efficiency of a unique photocatalytic reactor (PCR) to eliminate fungal and bacterial pathogens. The study examines baseline bacterial and fungal cultures, commonly known as pathogens, collected at specific clinical sites. The cultures were incubated, and separate culture counts (colony-formed units, or CFUs) for specific microbes were recorded for the given clinical area. The samples are identified by gram stain and special growth media and samples of unique clinical interest such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are studied in depth, identifying genus and species in varying culture media. Samples and cultures are collected at specific times for a 24-hour period after the installation and use of the PCR biocide unit, revealing up to a 300% reduction of airborne microbes.

This study examines baseline bacterial and fungal cultures collected at specific clinical sites both before and after the installation and use of a unique photo-catalytic reactor that kills many common hospital pathogens. The cultures were incubated, and separate culture counts (colony-formed units) for specific microbes were recorded for the given clinical area, with specific interest focused on particularly dangerous pathogens, such as methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus.

From the Biomedical Engineering Department, Texas A&M University, College Station, Shipman-Cram Medical Research, College Station (Mr Cram); The Physicians Centre, Bryan, Shipman-Cram Medical Research, Bryan, Tex (Dr Shipman); and Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station (Dr Quarles).

Corresponding author: Nicholas Cram, The Texas A&M University, Shipman Cram Medical Research, College Station, Tex.

Nicholas Cram, MEng, CBET, CHSP, is a clinical pharmacist, a lecturer at the Biomedical Engineering Department of Texas A&M University, a consultant in healthcare risk management and medical device design, and a certified healthcare safety professional at Shipman-Cram Medical Research, College Station, Tex.

Nolan Shipman, MD, is a board-certified ear, nose, and throat specialist and facial cosmetic surgeon at the Physicians Centre, Bryan, Tex, and a consultant in medical device design at Shipman-Cram Medical Research, Bryan, Tex.

John M. Quarles, PhD, is a professor and the head of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, Tex. He was certified by American Society for Microbiology National Registry of Microbiology. His specialties are virology, public health, and medical microbiology.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.