While American concerns over the spread of Ebola heightens, a germ-zapping robot developed by San Antonio-based Xenex has already been used at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, where the first unexpected Ebola case was detected in the United States.
Actually, Medical News Daily reported that Xenex’s germ-zapping robots are already being used at 250 hospitals across the United States. The germ-zapping pieces of medical technology emit ultraviolet rays that are approximately 25,000 times brighter than our sun. Xenex’s machine sends out 1.5 pulses each second, and covers a radius of up to 10 feet. These germ-zapping robots destroy germs, including viruses like Ebola, on any surface within the working radius in just minutes.
“The spread of these infections, such as MRSA and C. diff, already result in tens of thousands of deaths in the U.S. annually,” the San Antonio Business Journal reported this week. So, while Ebola is the headlined scare of the season, the Xenex technology can prevent deaths due to hospital acquired diseases sweeping the nation by eliminating risks of hospital transmission in the first place.
“Eliminating pathogens from patient rooms is the quickest and easiest way to lower the risk of additional infections,” Dr. Mark Stibich, chief scientific officer and co-founder of Xenex, explained in a statement. “Our customers report in peer-reviewed, published studies that after using our patented germ-zapping robots to disinfect surfaces, they experienced significant reductions in hospital acquired infections. That’s because our devices are faster, more effective, and easier to use than mercury-based UV room disinfection systems.”
Xenex promises that its germ-zapping robots can eradicate the Ebola virus on surfaces in two minutes, and other serious infectious diseases within five minutes. Current mercury-based systems are said to be more dangerous, and can take up to an hour to sanitize surfaces.
The CDC says that Ebola can remain viable for transmission for up to six days on surfaces, but compared to other viruses, Ebola is very sensitive to ultraviolet light, which happens to be the way the Xenex robots work. The company’s studies in real hospitals seem to support efficacy claims about the germ-zapping robot.
Xenex representatives say the spotlight on Ebola has helped bring public attention to the importance of hospital sanitation, but that nearly 300 people die each year from more common pathogens transmitted while patients are in the hospital. Xenex says its disinfection technology uses xenon UV light, and explained that it can kill bacteria, bacterial spores, and other microbes, and can neutralize viruses. Xenex says that xenon UV light is much safer than the mercury bulbs used in the decades-old UV light disinfection equipment. It also says that xenon UV light is 25,000 times more intense than the mercury-based products. Xenex’s powerful UV light technology has been available commercially since 2010.
“Healthcare associated infections (HAIs) are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S.,” according to Xenex, “and millions of people suffer unnecessarily every year as a result of an infection they acquired in the hospital.”
Just weeks after the president issued an executive order addressing the critical issue of super bugs, Xenex’s germ-zapping robot is gaining significant national media attention about four years after it was first available commercially… thanks to Ebola.
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