Chemical vapour fights C. difficile


The application of a bio-decontamination programme, including the use of hydrogen peroxide vapour (HPV), by Gloucestershire Hospitals has reduced the incidence of Clostridium difficile infection.

In three years, the Trust’s infection control programme – which includes the use of cohort wards and antibiotic control as well as UK company Bioquell’s HPV technology – has achieved a 65% reduction in C. difficile infection rates (from 771 cases to 267).

C. difficile (pictured) is the leading cause of hospital-acquired diarrhoeal disease in the UK, and its control is a major target for healthcare professionals.

Over the three-year period, 2,763 areas were decontaminated using HPV within the hospital. HPV can eradicate all biological contamination, providing a clean environment for patient re-admission.

C. difficile endospores are usually resistant to decontamination and can survive for months on hard surfaces, creating a reservoir of infection. The HPV process ensures complete surface sterilisation, breaking down endospores,

Deputy Nursing Director Paul Garrett commented: “HPV technology has played an important part in helping to reduce C. diff infection as part of an overall bundle of interventions. The Bioquell system has now been successfully integrated into the daily operations of our hospitals.”

Based in Hampshire, Bioquell is a leading supplier of bio-decontamination equipment and services, including its unique HPV technology.