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New disinfectant system sanitizes handheld medical devices quickly

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Posted at 11:48 AM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 12:49:57-04

DENVER — A new disinfectant system that will allow healthcare workers to sanitize handheld medical devices within minutes is weeks away from being in medical facilities across the country.

The machine is called Aura, and it uses hydrogen peroxide and cold plasma to clean handheld medical devices like stethoscopes quickly.

Mark Golkowski, a University of Colorado Denver electrical engineering professor who helped create Aura, said it will replace the old method of just wiping items down.

“The main kind of protocol was to wipe things down with different types of wipe,” Golkoski said. “Obviously if nurses or personnel in the hospital are in a hurry, they can’t do that."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 25 hospital patients develops a healthcare-acquired infection.

“Somebody’s going to a hospital to get treatment, they come out with an infection that leaves them worse off than when they went in,” Golkowsi said.

But according to Golkowski, Aura could reduce hospital-acquired infections and save lives.

Golkowski said the machine is easy to use.

“Stick it in, close the door, hit the button, come back a few minutes later and in that time, a nurse or somebody else can go and do something important,” Golkowski said.

“We didn’t plan for this pandemic, but we’re hoping to get in the battle here quickly,” said Rick Shea, CEO of Sterifre Medical, the company that makes Aura.

Shea said Aura has been in the works for years and right now, Sterifre is waiting for the EPA to register the system.

“We are going to start pre-selling our inventory as we build it while waiting for the registration,” Shea said.

Once Aura is registered, Shea said the machine will be in medical facilities across the country by this summer.