A major Welsh health board, with more than ten hospitals has suspended both Deprox and Ultra-V in all of its sites. The suspension is in response to numerous incidents of healthcare workers being exposed to high levels of toxic Deproxin fumes on re-entering a room after decontamination. Affected staff have been given a precautionary medical examination.
The RH (i.e. the amount of hydrogen peroxide in the air) of these machines was set to 13, where according to the manufacturer, a level of RH 40 is needed to give a log6 disinfection. This would account for reports of persistent contamination in some units in spite of repeated Deprox use. (You can easily find the RH setting of your Deprox here.)
Even with the machines turned down to almost a quarter of the required concentration, the level of H2O2 at the end of the process was so high that in many cases there was still a clearly visible fog in the air – and these incidents occurred AFTER Hygiene Solutions had fitted a catalyst to all its Deprox units in response to the serious accident in the Royal Worcester Hospital. This is further proof that the catalyst is just a placebo, to hide the fact that the ONLY way to ensure a safe atmosphere after a Deprox process is to turn down the H2O2 levels to 1/8th of the level needed for disinfection.
A similar problem was encountered by the Cwm Taf University Health Board, which covers the North Glamorgan area. They were sent a Deprox that had accidentally been set to RH 20, leaving the ward filled with a choking fog of chemicals after the “green light” had illuminated, indicating that the room was safe to enter. The Health Board used gas detector guns to measure residual hydrogen peroxide left after the process and it was 15 times the safe limit.
It should be pointed out that the Deprox machine has NO MEANS WHATEVER of monitoring the deactivation process. The green light is simply on a 45 minute timer, and will illuminate at this time regardless of the level of gas in the room.
Hydrogen peroxide gas detectors are expensive to buy, but can be rented at very reasonable rates from Drager UK. The best detector for this application is the Drager X-am 5100. The contact number for gas detection enquiries is 01670 352891.
Note: Do NOT rely on on gas detectors supplied from Hygiene Solutions – these are calibrated to show only a fraction of the real gas level! This can very easily be demonstrated by using a HS supplied unit and a rented Drager unit side by side.
In the face of mounting evidence as to the grave danger this process poses to both healthcare workers and patients, it would seem a wise move to discontinue the use of this equipment until the official HSE enquiry has made its recommendations.