Germ-zapping robots at FGH

Forrest General Hospital recently unveiled LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots that are being used 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 technology that uses pulsed xenon ultraviolet (UV) light to quickly destroy bacteria, viruses, mold, and other pathogens.

 “We want to do everything within our means to provide a clean environment at our facilities to reduce the risk of infections,” said Melissa Mazer, MLS (ASCP)CM infection preventionist. “In addition to our regular cleaning and disinfecting schedules, we will be using this new technology to provide an additional measure of protection. That’s why new technology like the LightStrike disinfecting robot is so important. This investment underscores our commitment to patient care and the communities we serve.”

The four Xenex robots use Full Spectrum pulsed xenon ultraviolet (UV) light to quickly destroy bacteria, viruses, fungi, and bacterial spores. The portable disinfection system is effective against even the most dangerous pathogens, including Clostridium difficile (C. diff), norovirus, influenza, Ebola, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA.

The portable Xenex system disinfects hospital rooms in five minute cycles without warm-up or cool-down times. Operated by the hospital cleaning staff, it can be used in any department and in any unit within a healthcare facility, including isolation rooms, operating rooms, general patient care rooms, contact precaution areas, emergency rooms, bathrooms and public spaces.

 UV has been used for disinfection for decades. The Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot is a new technology that utilizes pulsed xenon (not mercury bulbs) 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.

Their DNA is fused, rendering them unable to reproduce or mutate, effectively killing them on surfaces without contact or chemicals. In fact, according to published peer reviewed outcome studies*, hospitals have seen a 53 percent reduction rate in C.diff and a 57 percent reduction in MRSA infection rates. Another hospital reported a 100 percent elimination in Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) in isolation rooms after using the Xenex robot for room disinfection, and other facilities have experienced significant reductions in their Surgical Site Infection (SSI) rates.

With the kickoff, Forrest General also announced a robot naming contest. The contest is open to the public. Contest details and submission forms are available at forrestgeneral.com/-nametherobots. The robots’ names will be announced on Wednesday, May 24.