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article imageGood news – Lighting can kill hospital superbugs

By Paul Wallis     Nov 16, 2010 in Health
Glasgow - The murderous plague of various types of deadly bacteria in the the world's hospitals is now in trouble. It's been discovered by researchers at Glasgow's University of Strathclyde that certain types of visible light can kill them.
Those incredibly vicious pathogens have been responsible for extraordinary suffering and deaths around the world. Many are antibiotic resistant, and in some, like the notorious Golden Staph, are famous for the horrible post-operative effects of their infection.
According to Science Daily, the researchers discovered that certain frequencies of visible light known as HINS-light are significantly more effective than cleaning and disinfection alone. This lighting is harmless to humans, and can be used continuously.
These lights stimulate chemical activity within the organisms, killing them. The lights can be generated by LED lighting which can be used with normal hospital lighting. Other forms of disinfection using light like UV light or gas are potentially dangerous to people, but HINS-light isn't. That means that it can be used safely in any environment, anywhere.
The full extent and ferocity of those pathogens became very clear to me recently when I was writing an article for a site called Nursing Jobs.org. A nurse at an American hospital experienced a fever, was given a brief cursory test, and by the time the hospital realized it had made a mistake the woman was so severely infected that she lost a very large amount of tissue from a streptococcus infection. From onset to massive tissue loss the infection took about six hours.
(Readers please note – The article from nursing jobs.org is pretty grim reading.)
There are multiple ramifications to this discovery. LED lights don't require a lot of power, they can be installed anywhere, and from the information available, accurate calibration to produce HINS-light is quite straightforward. That means this technology can be used in disaster situations, powered from solar sources, and can be used to set up safe post-operative environments at need.
The almost prehistoric, Medieval situation which the world's hospitals have had to endure for nearly two decades may finally be over. If this isn't Nobel Prize material, what is?
More about University strathclyde, Post-operative infection, Superbugs
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