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A study published in the August 2013 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control demonstrates that the use of high-intensity, broad spectrum ultraviolet light significantly decreased the rate of hospital-acquired Clostridium difficile (C.diff), and C.diff.-related deaths and colectomies (removal of the colon) at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton.

The peer-reviewed journal article summarizes one year’s results — January 2011 through January 2012 – when Cooley Dickinson’s infection prevention team saw a 53 percent decrease in hospital-associated C.diff, a virulent germ that can cause diarrhea, sepsis and death.

The results came about after the hospital’s staff used Xenex Disinfection Services’ portable ultraviolet (UV) room disinfection robots throughout the 140-bed facility.

Hospital-acquired infections are a leading cause of death in the United States, killing roughly 100,000 Americans a year. A 2008 study published by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America found that fewer than 50 percent of surfaces get cleaned after a patient leaves a hospital room. Some germs, like C.diff, can live in the hospital environment for months. The Xenex system is designed to eliminate bacteria, viruses and spores in the patient environment that can cause infections.


Curves Northampton, at 141 Damon Road, is holding an open house Tuesday, Aug. 27, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., featuring demonstrations of several new classes as well as Circuit with Zumba, a workout that combines strength training and high-energy cardio.

Curves specializes in offering women a total body workout in 30 minutes. In addition to Circuit with Zumba, the Northampton facility is adding new classes aimed at targeting specific areas of the body. One class, for example, will focus on the arms, shoulders and upper back, while another is designed to tighten abs and increase overall core strength.

Samples of new meal bars and shakes, designed to help curb cravings, will also be available.

Jill McCormick, of Florence, took over as owner of the facility in April. Curves in Northampton now offers “all the tools to help women lose weight,” she said, “from fitness to meal plans to one-on-one coaching.”

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