Disinfecting Robots Stop Superbug Infections

FRESNO, Calif.

You can't see them– but they are everywhere! Dangerous bacteria that could make you sick and even kill!

"I really felt like I was dying. I was very sick," Ellen Blackwell said.

Ellen Blackwell had C. Difficile, an infection that causes severe diarrhea, fevers, pain, and cramping.

"Also, it comes on extremely fast," Ellen said.

Superbugs, like the one Ellen contracted, are common in hospitals across the country, killing about 100,000 patients each year.

"These organisms are smart. They're always a step ahead of us," Sasha Madison, MPH, Director of the Infection Prevention Program, Stanford Hospitals and Clinics said.

Now, the Xenex robot aims to outsmart even the toughest strains of bacteria. First, hospital workers spend about 45 minutes cleaning and disinfecting.

"Following that, we bring this machine in to further disinfect the room," Sasha said.

It can be used in patient rooms, the ER, and even operating rooms. In one study, researchers found the robot reduced surface contamination in the OR by 81 percent and air contamination by 46 percent.

"We have a higher level of assurance that the rooms are truly the cleanest they can be for our patients," Sasha said.

And that means a safer stay for patients!

About 100 hospitals across the country have the disinfecting robots. An average-sized hospital, with about 120 beds, would need two Xenex devices to clean all its rooms. Each one costs about $80,000, and can be bought or leased.

Ashley Georgian
Senior Media Relations Manager
Stanford Hospital & Clinics

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.