South Florida Hospital News
Monday August 10, 2020

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April 2013 - Volume 9 - Issue 10

West Gables Health Care Center Introduces a New Weapon to Battle HAIs

Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) are growing more dangerous and deadly each year, and traditional infection control methods have reached the point of diminishing returns. As bacteria become more resistant to traditional medicines and procedures, technology must play a role in eradication and prevention. The West Gables Health Care Center in Miami is one of the first healthcare facilities in the country to implement a new HAI eradication technology developed by Novaerus that, when combined with the staff’s expert treatments, may become the model for all facilities nationwide to follow.
Re-admittance to the hospital places patients at greater risk of infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently warned of the growing threat of superbugs that are untreatable because they are resistant to even the most powerful antibiotics. The CDC reports this class of superbug, called Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), has been found only in nursing homes and hospitals. In the first half of 2012, nearly 200 hospitals treated at least one of these infections.
West Gables Health Care Center
The West Gables Health Care Center has implemented technology developed by Tampa-based Novaerus to accomplish what medicine and standard HAI prevention practices cannot.
West Gables Health Care Center is a 120 bed skilled nursing facility that provides the highest levels of post-acute medical care to patients who have completed their hospital stays but are not well enough to return home. The median age of patients is 86, and the average short-term stay is 32 days.
West Gables Health Care Center Administrator Marco Carrasco has implemented an HAI prevention program that combines best practices with the Novaerus technology he discovered during the Florida Health Care Association’s (FHCA) annual convention in 2012.
“The Novaerus system is already proving to be the most significant development in HAI prevention in decades, and we have the opportunity to be a health care industry pioneer,” said Carrasco.
Plasma: the Superbug’s Kryptonite
The Novaerus technology, now available nationwide, is the first scientifically-proven system for airborne infection control, healthcare-associated infections/hospital-acquired infections (HAI) and disease prevention. Novaerus provides continuous airborne infection control by passing air through its patented disruptive plasma field, which emits billions of harmless electrons that destroy the protein bio-films of viruses, breaks down the cell walls of bacteria, and denature mold, allergens and odors – and it uses less energy than a 40 watt light bulb. Novaerus is proven to eradicate 99.999999999999% of all airborne pathogens and reduces microbial surface counts by up to 90 percent.
“Odor control is the minimum benefit we have realized,” said Mr. Carrasco. “The Novaerus units eliminated odors in the common room and hallways, allowing us to forgo the use of harsh chemicals that simply masked smells.”
The real eye-opener came once a Novaerus unit was installed in the tracheotomy patient’s room. The patient was extremely susceptible to infection while the opening in her neck healed. Carrasco credits his staff and the Novaerus system with preventing an upper respiratory infection and speeding the patient’s recovery and return home.
“Every case is unique, but these patients are at a high risk of infection because of the openings and tubes in their necks, and the fact this patient recovered and went home sooner than what we consider to be the standard length is remarkable,” said Carrasco. “We have an expert respiratory therapy department to help our patients heal and avoid re-admittance to the hospital, and this case is early proof of the effectiveness of the combination of our staff and the Novaerus system.”
Currently, hospitals are penalized for hospital readmissions that include the following categories: acute MI (AMI), heart failure or pneumonia. Their affected reimbursements are approximately one percent of revenue. Carrasco reports that during the final two quarters of 2012, West Gables Health Care Center had 485 admissions, of which eight patients were re-hospitalized for pneumonia. During the first two months of 2013, West Gables Health Care Center had 115 total admissions with only three patients that were re-hospitalized for pneumonia. This initiative has enhanced the quality outcomes of residents, and compliments excellent nursing and respiratory care management.
“We’ve only been using the Novaerus system fully implemented in our hallways and some patients’ rooms for about nine weeks, so it is too early to produce statistically significant results, but we have already realized the benefits the system provides to patient and staff,” said Mr. Carrasco. “When you first enter the building, you notice the air feels fresh and is completely absent of any odor. I think we’re on the cusp of the next significant advancement in medical technology, and once health care facilities across the country are able to follow our lead, I expect we will finally see a reversal in the ever-growing numbers of HAI cases.”

Kevin Maughan is CEO of Novaerus, the Tampa-based developer of the first scientifically proven system for airborne infection control, HAI and disease prevention. For more information, visit

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