Brendan Arnold

Infectious Disease Physician, Dunedin Hospital

It’s time to clear the air! Upper room UV-C air disinfection

The importance of adequate air disinfection has been thrown into stark relief by the worldwide spread of COVID-19.  The use of UV-C emitting lamps to irradiate the air in the upper part of a patient’s room was first proposed in the 1930’s, as a useful modality for tuberculosis control.  Referred to as “Upper Room Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation” (UVGI), this technology has not been widely implemented to date, due to a preference for dilution-ventilation systems.  However upper room UVGI is a potentially inexpensive, easily retrofitted, effective and complementary modality to enhance air disinfection.  The COVID-19 virus has been demonstrated to be highly susceptible to UV-C irradiation.  This presentation will review the history and science of upper room UVGI, and discuss the safety and practical implications of its use.

Dr Brendan Arnold is an Infectious Disease and Internal Medicine Physician at Dunedin Hospital.  Originally from Napier, he completed his medical degree at the University of Auckland, before working as a houseofficer at Whakatane and Rotorua Hospitals.  Brendan spent his registrar years at Dunedin and Hawkes Bay Hospitals, and completed his Infectious Disease specialty training in Wellington. He spent two years completing a Master in Clinical Tropical Medicine at Mahidol University, Bangkok.  Brendan has worked at Dunedin Hospital as an Infectious Disease specialist since 2015.    

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