New Westminster hospital enlists robots to help fight the coronavirus

May 20 2020, 4:47 pm

Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster has turned to the robots as their newest tools to help fight COVID-19 and other pathogens.

The hospital’s foundation announced today they have deployed two ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) robots to deep clean and disinfect “hot spots” in the hospitals to eradicate a range of bacteria and viruses, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile), and Candida auris (C. auris).

These robots, which emit concentrated ultraviolet light on surfaces, are being used in areas such as the intensive care and high-acuity units. Ultraviolet light is effective in killing pathogens as it destroys the molecular bonds that hold their DNA together.

“Our donors’ incredible response and support during the pandemic helps us act quickly on a wide range of needs at Royal Columbian,” said Jeff Norris, president and CEO of Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation, in a statement.

“The robots are a safe and effective tool to reduce the risk of infection and help keep patients, healthcare providers, staff, and visitors healthy.”

This hospital is one of the approximate 20 designated primary care sites in BC for COVID-19.

The hospital’s newly-built patient care tower is being used for overflow non-COVID-19 patient capacity. There are 80 beds in this building for such uses.