HPV fogger used to clear wards at Redditch hospital of norovirus

Successful deployment of Deprox system leads to wards re-opening within five days

The Deprox system was used to rid wards at Alexandra Hospital of norovirus

A hydrogen peroxide vapour (HPV) device has helped to control a norovirus outbreak at a hospital in Redditch.

Providing further evidence of the efficacy of HPV in decontamination and infection control, the Deprox machine was deployed at the Alexandra Hospital following a number of cases last month.

Around the size of a domestic waste bin, the technology, manufactured by Hygiene Solutions, works by releasing HPV into the air, killing germs in the environment.

This machine decontaminates everything and kills all known germs. It is the latest and most innovative method of controlling these bugs

Commenting on the intervention, Stewart Messer from Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said: “This machine decontaminates everything and kills all known germs. It is the latest and most innovative method of controlling these bugs.”

The hospital had been forced to close four wards to admissions due to the outbreak. The success in banishing the bugs is now likely to lead to similar measures being taken at other centres across the country, which are bracing themselves for the increase in cases usually associated with the winter season.

Messer said that, prior to the use of Deprox, hospitals often had to wait two weeks to give the all clear for patients to be able to return to affected wards. Following the HPV treatment, patients at the Alexandra Hospital were back in their beds in five days.

One of the reasons an outbreak of norovirus at the hospital was so well controlled was because we introduced HPV. This system is an almost 100% fail-safe

He added that the decision was taken to use the machine after research from the University of Cambridge proved how effective the technique was. He was also advised by one of the trust’s own consultant microbiologists.

He said: “One of the reasons an outbreak of norovirus at the hospital was so well controlled was because we introduced this. This system is an almost 100% fail-safe."

The trust plans to continue using the system under a leasing arrangement, not only to fight actual outbreaks, but also in routine day-to-day infection prevention.

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