FGH unveils new germ cleaning robot, kills more pathogens


HATTIESBURG, MS. - Forrest General Hospital unveiled four of its LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots Wednesday.

The robots will be used in the hospital's daily cleaning routine to destroy potentially lethal germs and bacteria that can pose a risk to patient and employee safety.

Forrest General is the first hospital in south Mississippi to tap into a cleaning technology that uses pulsed xenon ultraviolet light to destroy pathogens.

“That’s the kind of light that is used in radio towers, you can see it for miles, it is incredibility intense light, and that intense light bathes the entire room in UVC" said Xenox Technical Director Rachel Sparks.

Sparks added, "UVC actually breaks down the DNA in viruses, bacteria, and breaking down that DNA they cannot replicate and so they die.”

According to the hospital, UVC has been used for disinfection for decades. The robot is a new technology that utilizes xenon to create germicidal UV light.

Pulsed xenon emits high intensity UVC light which penetrates the cell walls of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, mold, fungus, and spores.

The portable robot disinfects hospital rooms in 5 minute cycles and can be used in any department. Once it is in a room it lets out 40,000 UVC light pulses per cycle.

FGH's Infection Preventionist Melissa Mazer said three will be used at Forrest General. The other at the FGH's Orthopedic Center.

“We are using them every time a patient is discharged, once that patient is discharged it goes through a terminal clean" said Mazer.

She continued, "And we are also going to use them when patients are transferred, sometimes they are going to move and we need to move them for whatever reason.”

The hospital says it will continue its normal cleaning routine prior to using the robot each time. Various hospitals around the world using the robot have seen a reduction in pathogens.

Sparks said, “Other hospitals have seen reduction in C.Diff, which is a very nasty gut bug, and VRE all these nasty acronyms that we hear of, but hospitals have seem them drop off.”

Other facilities reported significant reductions in their Surgical Site Infection rates too.

Forrest General also announced its kick-off to a robot naming contest. To submit your name idea you can click here.

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