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Camden Clark expands fleet of UV light-based germ-zapping robots

From left, Calvin Wingfield, Tresa Bell, Amanda Schall, Amy Westfall and Manager Rich Corbin of Camden Clark Environmental Services pose with the new germ-killing robots mustered into service at the medical center. The Xenex LightStrike robots use an intense burst of ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and viruses. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG – WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center, like other hospitals around the world searching for innovative ways to battle bacteria and viruses, has added two Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots.

The robots were made possible through donations from local residents and businesses including a substantial gift from Tri State Roofing & Sheet Metal of Parkersburg.

The state-of-the-art ultraviolet light machines are the first room disinfection system proven to deactivate the SARS Co-V-2 (COVID-19) virus, Camden Clark said. The fleet of three robots is part of Camden Clark’s Environmental Services Team and is designed to enhance the facility’s thorough processes for cleaning rooms and killing infection-causing germs.

The portable Xenex system disinfects a typical patient or procedure room in 4 minute cycles without warm-up or cool-down times and is effective against even the most dangerous pathogens, including Clostridium difficile (C. diff), norovirus, influenza, Ebola and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA, Camden Clark said.

“We are focused on and committed to patient care and safety, which is why we are proud to acquire additional germ zapping robots and to expand the use of this innovative technology,” said Steve Altmiller, president and CEO of WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center. “Because of the generous corporate and community donations and our Camden Clark Foundation, we are able to deploy two new Xenex machines, giving us a total of three, with two additional units on order to help us disinfect and clean our hospital and keep patients and our team members safe.”

The new additions to the WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center fleet of germ-killing robots. (Photo Provided)

Tri State Roofing and Sheet Metal made a $50,000 donation for the machines, which with matching funds from the Camden Clark Foundation paid for one machine. The hospital also received generous donations from organizations including Parkersburg Cardiology Associates, WesBanco, the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and many other businesses and residents to support the purchase of a second robot.

Xenex robots use intense bursts of germicidal ultraviolet light to quickly disinfect rooms without chemical residue or toxic fumes.

Ultraviolet light has been used for disinfection for decades, but LightStrike uses pulsed xenon and not mercury bulbs to create the ultraviolet light. Mercury is toxic.

The germicidal ultraviolet light is more intense than sunlight and destroys micro-organisms on surfaces without damaging hospital equipment or materials.

The robot’s light is so intense it even works in shadowed areas. It can be used in any department and in any unit within the hospital, including isolation rooms, operating rooms, general patient care rooms, contact precaution areas, emergency rooms, bathrooms and public spaces.

Using the LightStrike robot is quick and easy. First, the room has to be cleaned and all visible dirt and fluids removed, trash emptied and linens removed, all part of a normal cleaning. After the room is visually clean, the robot is deployed and destroys anything left behind including deadly pathogens the naked eye cannot see.

Since its commercial launch in June 2010, Xenex robots are included in the infection prevention strategies at more than 650 hospitals, Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense facilities, long-term acute care facilities, Skilled Nursing Facilities and Ambulatory Surgery Centers in the U.S. and around the world.

Camden Clark Medical Center is a not-for-profit, acute care facility that serves an 11-county, 250,000-resident region of West Virginia and Southeastern Ohio.

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