What are your thoughts on sanitizing hearing aids via the ultraviolet light of the Dry and Store® box?
The Dry and Store is a hearing aid dehumidifier. Some Dry and Store models (excluding the Zephyr) come with an ultraviolet light which claims to sanitize hearing instruments. The process is a three-minute cycle. Bear in mind, however, that prior to putting a hearing instrument in the Dry and Store, a patient must first wipe the hearing instrument to remove any visible contamination such as cerumen. Once the hearing instrument is placed in the Dry and Store and the lid is closed the ultraviolet light, located at the top of the lid, will illuminate. Keep in mind, when you close the lid of the Dry and Store, the ultraviolet light will only shine on that part of the hearing instrument that is in the direct line of sight of the ultraviolet light;in other words, the light will only shine on the part of the hearing instrument that is exposed to the light. From this perspective, it is important to do two things. First, since the UV radiation can only kill germs on that part of the hearing instrument exposed to the light, using a disinfectant towelette to disinfect the hearing instrument prior to placing it in the unit is a good idea to ensure all surfaces have been disinfected. Second, encourage patients to rotate or change the position of the hearing instrument in the Dry and Store from day to day so that all surfaces of the hearing instrument are exposed to the ultraviolet light.
This Ask the Expert question was based on information in the recorded course, Infection Control: Putting the Pedal to the Sterilized Metal. To view the entire course, please click here to register.
A.U. Bankaitis, Ph.D., is Vice President of Oaktree Products, Inc of St. Louis, MO, a multi-line distributor of hearing health care products intended for use in the clinical environment or for resale to patients, currently providing over 3100 items to professionals worldwide. Dr. Bankaitis earned her doctorate from the University of Cincinnati in 1995 where her funded research investigated the effects of varying degrees of HIV on the auditory system. This research naturally led to the area of infection control. Dr. Bankaitis is considered one of the leading experts in this area as it pertains to the hearing industry, authoring numerous infection control publications including the popular text book Infection Control in the Audiology Clinic.
More information about Oaktree Products, Inc. can be found by visiting the Oaktree Web Channel on AudiologyOnline or at www.oaktreeproducts.com. Stay current on the latest happenings at Oaktree on Facebook and Twitter!