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Zapping Those Nasty Bugs

23 June 2016 | Updated 01 January 1970

Sodexo Healthcare has launched a new ultraviolet disinfection system claiming it provides increased protection against the spread of healthcare associated infections (HCAIs).

The Xenex Germ-Zapping Robots range is specifically directed against pathogens such as MRSA.

Sodexo and the infection control team at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust which runs Queen’s Hospital, have introduced two Xenex LightStrike room disinfection devices to supplement chemical cleaning on site. This follows a successful trial, conducted in real-world circumstances which showed that combined manual cleaning and Xenex disinfection produced an average bacterial reduction of 91% compared with a 61% reduction with manual cleaning alone and 78% reduction with Xenex-only.

The devices have been named Rosie and Mavis, in recognition of two key members of the Trust’s infection prevention and control team and Sodexo cleaning teams who were involved in the clinical trial.


Penetrating cell walls

The Xenex robot pulses a xenon lamp to create an intense germicidal UV light that quickly disinfects surfaces such as bedrails, tray tables, bathroom handrails and toilet seats. The Full Spectrum light penetrates the cell walls of micro-organisms including bacteria, viruses, mould, fungus and spores.  Their DNA is instantly fused so that they are unable to reproduce or mutate, effectively killing them on surfaces and in the air without contact or chemicals. Independent lab verification on the most common and the most dangerous and difficult-to-treat microorganisms, includes Clostridium difficile (C.diff), Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), norovirus and the Ebola virus.

Xenex Germ-Zapping Robots have been used by Sodexo and hospital environmental services teams in U.S. healthcare facilities since 2010, where xenon UV disinfection has become part of the regular hospital cleaning protocol where in peer-reviewed studies, 50%-100% decreases in their infection rates occurred.

The Xenex system is not intended to be a substitute for chemical cleaning, rather an additional layer of protection. Another significant advantage of the system is said to be its speed, taking less than 15 minutes to operate in a standard-size room.

“The safety and wellbeing of our patients is our first priority so anything we can do to reduce the risk of infection is great for our hospitals,” said Nadeem Moghal, Medical Director, Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust which runs Queen’s Hospital. “Colleagues from departments across the hospital worked well together and we were really pleased with the results of the trial.”

Picture: Impressive reductions of healthcare associated infections have been reported for Sodexo’s Xenex Germ-Zapping Robots

Article written by Cathryn Ellis | Published 23 June 2016


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