By Mike DeNardo

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A new robot is on duty at Doylestown Hospital, killing dangerous microorganisms by zapping them with ultraviolet light.

The unit looks like the robot from “Lost in Space,” with its plate-shaped head telescoping above its body.

The flashing unit, from a company called Xenex, sanitizes patient rooms with ultraviolet-C light.

Rachael Sparks, the company’s technical director, says a ten-minute treatment per room can kill drug-resistant bugs including C. diff, MRSA, and CRE.

“Because their DNA is disintegrated, they can no longer reproduce and they can’t cause infection,” she explains.

Even wiping down a room with disinfectant could leave some dangerous bacteria behind, “which means that if your mother is admitted today she might be made sick by someone who was there six months before,” Sparks tells KYW Newsradio.

Vera Cessna, Doylestown Hospital’s director of infection prevention, says the machine is used in addition to traditional cleaning.

“We still have to clean the rooms. And this is an added layer of safety for our patients,” she said today.
Doylestown is the third Pennsylvania hospital to use the unit, and the first in this area.