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Room disinfection robot gains UK acceptance after successful NHS trials
It may look like a futuristic gadget from a science fiction movie, but this germ-killing robot is a new, efficient method of tackling hospital superbugs, which could save the NHS more than £200 million a year if adopted nationwide
The remote-controlled Tru-D SmartUVC device is an automated total room disinfection system that uses SmartUVC technology to accurately measure and deliver the lethal UV dose required to break the DNA of bacteria, virus and spores to render them harmless. It is engineered to silently disinfect shadowed and line-of-sight surfaces from a single placement within a room, overcoming human error such as missed and difficult-to-reach surfaces, improper chemical applications, incorrect placement, and unreliable "blind-dose guessing" associated with lesser advanced and disruptive strobe light offerings. It is said to kill 99.9% of infectious room-surface pathogens in a fraction of the time now required for cleaning..
According to hospital administrators, vaporised hydrogen peroxide (VHP) is currently used to sterilise wards, with deep-clean taking six hours followed by a wait of up to 24 hours before the room can be used. The VHP method poses significant health risks if not carried out carefully.
Hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA and C.diff cost the NHS about $1.6 billion a year. Tru-D SmartUVC, already in daily use at more than 100 hospitals in the US, has been tested by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, which is hoping to adopt the method permanently. Nottingham University Hospitals' record of reducing healthcare-associated infections rates among the best in the UK.
"Judging by the results that I have witnessed, it is clear that new and more sustainable alternatives such as Tru-D represent the future of hygiene in hospitals," says Dr. Tim Boswell, consultant microbiologist at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.
Tru-D spokesman Chuck Dunn explains:
"Tru-D SmartUVC generates a specific dose of ultraviolet-C energy to eliminate surface contamination," he says. "The advanced, environmentally friendly germicidal disinfection system has moved disinfection of rooms and equipment to a much higher level than can be achieved through manual, chemical cleaning alone."
Tru-D was presented at the recent annual conference of the Federation of Infection Societies in Liverpool. Six other NHS hospitals have since begun trialling the device.
A report published in October by the Patients' Association in partnership with the Royal College of Nursing and the Infection Prevention Society called for a renewed focus on infection prevention and control across the NHS.
7th February 2013