BR Surgical Center brings in Germ Zapping Robot

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Surgical Specialty Center of Baton Rouge now has a Germ Zapping Robot.

No, this isn't a weird episode of Star Trek. It's real.

"This is the next level of killing that bacteria that can live on inanimate surfaces for a long period of time, even though thorough housekeeping is done," said Genie Woodring, the Director of Quality and Risk for the Surgical Specialty Center.

The device emits ultra-violet light from a powerful bulb throughout a room. The Texas-based company that built the machine, Xenex, says it kills all bacteria within five minutes. The Surgical Specialty Center is the first hospital in Southern Louisiana to use the device, and they say it will help prevent bacterial infections from occurring during or after surgeries.

"We ask hospital housekeepers to do an impossible task," said Dr. Sarah Simmons, Science Director for Xenex. "We ask them to clean a room perfectly. Humans make mistakes and we miss surfaces. On those surfaces, bacteria get left behind that can cause disease in the next patient. These robots use ultra violet light to kill the bacteria that are left behind, and make sure patients are safe."

Officials with the center say their goal is to reduce the annual number of bacterial infections to zero.

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