New Westminster hospital adds 'germ-killing' robots for hot spots

Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster is enlisting another weapon in its fight against COVID-19.

Two ultraviolet germicidal irradiation robots - one funded by the RCH Foundation - will be used to deep-clean and disinfect “hot spots” in the hospital to kill pathogens, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

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The robots are used in areas such as the ICU, emitting concentrated ultraviolet light to kill SARS-CoV-2 that may linger on surfaces. As one of BC’s primary COVID-19 sites, RCH cares for some of our province’s most critically ill patients.

“Our donors’ incredible response and support during the pandemic helps us act quickly on a wide range of needs at Royal Columbian,” says foundation president and CEO Jeff Norris. “The robots are a safe and effective tool to reduce the risk of infection and help keep patients, healthcare providers, staff, and visitors healthy.”

The ultraviolet light emitted by the robots also kills other potentially deadly microorganisms including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile), and Candida auris (C. auris). Ultraviolet light is effective at killing bacteria and viruses because it destroys the molecular bonds that hold their DNA together.

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