Germ-fighting robots are getting further help to battle micro organism in hospitals throughout the Fraser Well being area.
Two tent-like disinfection pods have joined the fleet of 16 robots which use ultraviolet (UV) mild to kill viruses and micro organism in affected person rooms.
“We actually wish to apply it to … mobility aids, like wheelchairs and walkers, locations that the sufferers contact lots. And simply to offer that further stage of disinfection,” mentioned Ruth Dueckman, government director of an infection prevention and management with Fraser Well being.
Consultants say germ-fighting robots have turn into more and more well-liked for the reason that pandemic to assist disinfect rooms and forestall hospital infections.
In the course of the pandemic, 14 new Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation robots have been added to hospitals at a value of $2 million to complement the unique two bought in 2016. In accordance with Fraser Well being, 16 robots logged 1000’s of hours and disinfected practically 62,000 rooms throughout hospitals.
“Our cleansing employees have labored simply limitless hours to try to preserve our services and our tools clear. And it is only a endless battle for them,” mentioned Dueckman.
Vancouver Coastal Well being says it makes use of UV mild robots at 11 websites throughout 4 regional hospitals.
“They’re primarily utilized in affected person rooms in acute care the place people have been positioned underneath precaution for sure diseases that are difficult to eradicate with handbook cleansing alone,” it mentioned in an e-mail assertion to CBC Information.
So how does the know-how work?
The robots emit brief pulses of UV mild, damaging the DNA and RNA of dangerous pathogens. They’re often positioned in rooms for about 20 minutes to disinfect them.
The extra two new collapsible pods connect to the robots, lure UV mild, and assist disinfect smaller items of kit like wheelchairs and incubators, that are positioned contained in the tents and are disinfected in 5 minutes, explains Dueckman.
“It permits us to maneuver small items of medical tools which are, you recognize, traditionally form of troublesome to scrub, as a result of they have all types of nooks and crannies,” mentioned Dueckman.
She says a research confirmed the pods lowered bacterial counts by 88 per cent after remedy.
Presently, one of many pods is at Royal Columbian Hospital, and one other is at Langley Memorial Hospital. The UV know-how is being utilized in items with COVID sufferers and different infections together with C. difficile, however Dueckman says she hopes to see broader use of the know-how.
“It provides us some assurance that we’re doing every thing we are able to to maintain our websites clear,” she mentioned.
Extremely efficient however pricey professional says
UV mild is very efficient and a “very potent disinfectant” that leaves no residue in comparison with different chemical compounds, says Horacio Bach, medical assistant professor within the division of infectious illnesses on the College of British Columbia’s college of medication.
However he says it is also essential to be aware that UV mild can deteriorate tools elements made from plastic, rubber and materials.
“For instance, a bit of plastic outdoors and underneath the solar, you will note that over time begin to deteriorate … begin to break down.”
He says one technique to work round that’s having hospital tools made from particular supplies akin to Teflon and utilizing defending paints to coat surfaces.
One other problem to having extra germ-fighting robots in hospitals is they are often costly, says Bach.
“With the pandemic, we have been actually lucky that loads of the foundations contributed funding, in addition to some provincial funding,” mentioned Dueckman.