Ambulances are frequently contaminated with infectious microorganisms shed by patients during transport that can be transferred to subsequent patients and emergency medical service workers. Manual decontamination is tedious and time-consuming, and persistent contamination is common even after cleaning. 

While the most common methodology for cleaning and decontaminating surfaces in the patient care compartment and EMS equipment involves manually cleaning those surfaces with EPA-approved disinfecting solutions, manual cleaning does have shortcomings.

Manual cleaning of cot rails and buckles, seats, action counters, door handles and other frequently touched surfaces is time-consuming. A thorough cleaning of every surface is also often impractical for EMS crews facing pressure to rapidly return to service for their next patient call. 

The AeroClave ADS is a decontamination system that can be directly integrated into a new or existing ambulance. The ADS utilizes an EPA-approved hospital disinfectant to decontaminate surfaces in the patient care compartment and equipment after every patient transport.

The ADS is a convenient, hands-off solution for decontaminating an ambulance’s patient care compartment. A nozzle, installed inside the patient care compartment, disperses a mist of disinfectant solution that is designed to meet OSHA and NFPA specifications.

Zimek's Z-vac Micro-Particle Evacuator uses disinfectant misting technology to decontaminate an ambulance’s interior and the equipment carried aboard the ambulance. When connected to the vehicle and activated using a window overlay, an installed port or window insert, the system automatically disperses a disinfectant vapor throughout the vehicle’s interior. Upon completion of a decontamination cycle, any remaining mist is removed using the company’s Z-vac Vehicle Adapter.

The Bioquell BQ-EMS uses hydrogen peroxide vapor to eradicate pathogens from exposed surfaces in the ambulance, including patient care equipment, controls for on-board electronics and the stretcher. A decontamination cycle can be done within a sealed vehicle by placing the hydrogen peroxide vapor generator and the aerators in the patient care compartment of the ambulance.

A wireless control panel is used to start and stop the process. The vehicle’s contents need to be prepared before system activation to ensure decontamination of exposed surfaces.

The Ambustat atomizes Actril Cold Sterilant, a disinfectant with peracetic acid and hydrogen peroxide, into small droplets — fog, mist or spray— by shearing them in a highly turbulent section of the nozzle. A blower in the power head supplies air to create the turbulence, and the flow rate can be adjusted for desired droplet size.

Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation for disinfection has been used primarily in medical sanitation and sterile work facilities. In recent years UVGI has found renewed application in air and surface sanitization in medical care settings such as hospitals, clinics and laboratories.

  • "Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) is an established means of disinfection and can be used to prevent the spread of certain infectious diseases. Low-pressure mercury (Hg) discharge lamps are commonly used in UVGI applications and emit shortwave ultraviolet-C (UV-C, 100–280 nanometer [nm]) radiation, primarily at 254 nm. UV-C radiation kills or inactivates microbes by damaging their deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)."
  • The History of Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation for Air Disinfection

MRSA-UV has produced several products that use UVGI for safer, more effective and more efficient decontamination of ambulances and equipment. The Turbo-UV is a compact unit (22 x 8 x 8 inches) that can be placed in the closed patient compartment of an ambulance for as little as 15 minutes. The Turbo-UV is compact enough that it can also be used for decontaminating EMS station sleeping rooms, EMS equipment and personal protective gear that may have been exposed to infectious pathogens.

The EMS-UV air sanitizer employs UVGI to circulate and clean the interior air of an ambulance to reduce airborne viruses, bacteria, mold, allergens and odors. The EMS-UV can be mounted on a wall in the patient care compartment and allowed to run continuously. The UV-C bulb inside the unit requires minimal electricity and annual replacement.

The Rapid Razor-UV is a handheld, rechargeable UVGI device designed for decontamination of surfaces inside the ambulance. The user simply passes the device closely over the contaminated surface area, allowing the energy from the high-output UVC Emitter to rapidly decontaminate surfaces. The unit includes an internal pacer that sets the scan speed to ensure a complete and accurate scan. A recessed safety shield prevents direct exposure to UVC energy while also adding reflectance that increases its effectiveness.