The hospital is supposed to be a place of healing.  But every year, about two million Americans suffer from infections they got *at* the hospital.  That adds up to about 30 *billion* dollars in health care costs. 

Now there's a new way some hospitals are trying to reduce the risk.  You can't see them- but they are everywhere!  Dangerous bacteria that could make you sick and even kill!   

Ellen Blackwell said she really felt like she was dying, she was so sick.   Ellen had c-diff - an infection that causes severe diarrhea, fevers, pain, and cramping.   She says it comes on extremely fast.   

Superbugs, like the one Ellen contracted are common in hospitals across the country, killing about 100-thousand patients each year.   Experts say the organisms are smart, that they always seem to be a step ahead of us.   

But now the Xenex  robot aims to outsmart even the toughest strains of bacteria. First, hospital workers spend about 45-minutes cleaning and disinfecting.  Then they bring this machine in to further disinfect the room. 

The robot uses u-v pulsating light to disrupt an organism's d-n-a, killing spores, bacteria, viruses, and mold.  It takes about 5-to-10 minutes per room.   It can be used in patient rooms, the e-r, and even operating rooms.

In one study researchers found the robot reduced surface contamination in the o-r by 81-percent and air contamination by 46-percent. 

Mercy Hospital in Springfield, is one about 100 hospitals across the country using the disinfecting robots.  Cox Health Systems just had the robot in for a demonstration and is considering buying the cleaning technology too.   Each unit costs about 80-thousand dollars.

HOSPITAL INFECTIONS: It is estimated that between 5 to 10 percent of patients will obtain a hospital-acquired disease during their stay. Hospitals are supposed to be the safest place for getting healthy, but they are one of the most susceptible for contracting bacteria. MRSA and pneumonia are only a few infections that may be contracted during a patient’s hospital stay. Not to say that hospitals are not clean or are not being taken care of, but the constant change of illness between patients brings hospital workers to think about what else can be done to keep rooms clean. (Source: www.ncsl.org)

 

C-DIFFICILE: This hospital-borne bacterium typically affects older adults that have had an extended stay in a hospital. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and significant pain. Now, doctors are noticing that C. difficile is affecting younger patients during their hospital stay and it is expected for more than half a million people will become sick from C. difficile this year. (Source: www.mayoclinic.com)

 

XENEX ROBOT: The Xenex robot was designed to clean what hospitals workers cannot clean manually. This machine oscillates UV light into each room, executing any remaining bacteria, mold, viruses, and spores. Although this robot carries an expensive price tag, it has decreased the number of patients who develop C. difficile by 67 percent. It is placed in a bathroom, patient room, or operating room and is left alone for 5-10 minutes, depending on room size. Then it projects quick flashes of UV light to kill strains of bacteria. In the end, this will not only save hospitals money, but it will save lives. (Source: www.xenex.com)

 

CASE STUDY:  Cone Health is a not-for-profit network of healthcare providers in North Carolina, with over 100 locations. Moses Cone’s experienced a 56 percent reduction in MRSA rates after implementing Xenex as part of a bundle approach to preventing the transmission of MRSA. (Source: www.xenex.com)

 

* For More Information, Contact:

 

Ashley Georgian

Senior Media Relations Manager

Stanford Hospital & Clinics

650-725-6625

ageorgian@stanfordmed.org