Manchester's Elliot Hospital now has 3 germ-zapping robots
Patrica Heywood, supervisor of environmental services, programs Elliot Hospital's new germ zapping robot while giving a demonstration on Friday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
8/15/14--Xenex, Elliot Hospital's new germ zapping robot, pulses ultraviolight light killing potentially harmful single-cell organisms. DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER
Despite their pleasant names, the three germ disinfection robots are killers. They zap germs with ultra-violet light pulses, which disrupt the DNA of a single cell germ and destroy it so it can’t reproduce and spread.
It’s only been two and a half months, but the results are impressive. When it comes to the drug-resistant germ Clostridium difficile or c-diff that are so difficult to treat, Leighton said in June and July: “We’re half of where we were.”
Baxter said the robots don’t substitute for best practices cleaning, they supplement it. Over time, he said, they decrease contamination beyond what regular cleaning can do. They beam their germ-killing light into cracks and crevices where germs can be hiding.
They are used in priority areas such as newborn intensive care, pediatric intensive care and the adult intensive care units and for patients on high precautions. “The operating and procedure rooms are cleaned every night,” said Leighton.
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