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Fighting infectious disease the modern way - with robots

Date:
June 21, 2013
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
Hospitals are synonymous with cleanliness and now an academic medical center is taking disinfection to futuristic levels. Nicknamed “little Joe” a 3-foot upright cylindrical robots provide the finishing touches to room sanitation. A rotating telescopic head emits cidal ultraviolet (UV) rays for 15 minutes in closed, unoccupied rooms to systematically kill germs dead.

Germ-fighting robots that pulse UV light are used by Loyola University Health System to fight infectious disease.
Credit: Image courtesy of Loyola University Health System

Hospitals are synonymous with cleanliness and now Loyola University Health System is the first academic medical center in Illinois to take disinfection to futuristic levels. Nicknamed "Ralph" by the housekeeping staff at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital and "little Joe" at Loyola University Medical Center, 3-foot upright cylindrical robots provide the finishing touches to room sanitation. A rotating telescopic head emits cidal ultraviolet (UV) rays for 15 minutes in closed, unoccupied rooms to systematically kill germs dead.

"Loyola is a world leader in infection control and now the addition of automated room disinfection reinforces our ongoing commitment to patient safety," says Jorge Parada, MD, MPH, FACP, FIDSA, medical director, Infection Control Program, Loyola University Health System. "Loyola is doing everything humanly possible to control disease and that includes robotics."

According to studies, the disinfection robots eliminate Clostridium difficile (C. diff) in less than 4 minutes and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) in less than 2 minutes. "The robots are used for further disinfection in the operating suites and patient rooms including isolation, burn and transplant," says

Alex Tomich, DNP, RN, CIC, manager, infection prevention and control at Loyola. "Loyola takes very seriously its responsibility to protect patients, visitors and our hospital staff from infections and we are early adopters of proven technology as well as best practices."

The hospital housekeeping staff cleans the rooms and then uses the robots for additional sterilization. The pulsed UV light destroys viruses, bacteria and bacterial spores without human contact or use of chemicals.

Hospital infections are linked to approximately 100,000 deaths each year and add as much as $30 billion a year in medical costs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Loyola University Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "Fighting infectious disease the modern way - with robots." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130621121003.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2013, June 21). Fighting infectious disease the modern way - with robots. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130621121003.htm
Loyola University Health System. "Fighting infectious disease the modern way - with robots." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130621121003.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

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