JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – It might sound like Science Fiction, but robots are helping a local hospital fight infections. The technology at St. Dominic’s Hospital is the first of its kind in the state. The robot quickly kills germs in the hospital room- without using any chemicals.
There’s two of them. They’re officially known as the Xenex Pulsed Xenon Full Spectrum Germ- Zapping Robots but, the staff at St. Dominic’s knows them as ‘Kirk’ and ‘Troy.’
Marcus Turner, HVAC Technician at the hospital, is trained to maintenance the robots. He says the robots “lived up to the expectation. I was kind of excited about going and seeing it.”
The robots come with a high powered U-V light. Once everyone is out of the room, and it’s turned on, it zaps germs living on the surface of everything in the room. Felecia Denson, Sr. Infection Specialist at St. Dominic’s, says the robots “takes care of the environmental pathogens that you see- such as on the patient’s bed, potentially on their bedside table and their devices in the room- that would put them at a risk of infection.”
We’re told the robots reduce the risk of infections by 50- 60%. It only takes 8 minutes to clean an entire hospital room. “To know the technology behind it and actually see it work and the effect it has, it’s pretty amazing,” says Turner.
The hospital had other devices in the past but this version is top of the line, doesn’t require a lot of setting up and has more safety features. Sensors on the robots will stop the machine if someone walks in the room while it’s cleaning. Turner says the machines are not harmful to your skin or eyes, as long as you’re not exposed to them for a significant amount of time.
The robots can disinfect up to 60 rooms a day, but traditional cleaning methods are still needed. Denson explains, “it does not remove elbow grease. You still have to do your traditional cleaning with chemicals to know down the bacteria load in the room.” She adds, “These devices are an additional measure that continues to knock down more bacteria, viruses and fungi that you may see in the environment.”
The staff at St. Dominic’s say though they are taking extra measures to keep patients safe with the robots, washing your hands and having good hygiene are ways to prevent getting infections while in the hospital.