New method for cleaning hospital rooms could help stop the spread of ‘superbugs’

a hospital bed. Germs on the rail show in blue

Surfaces in hospital rooms such as tray tables, bedrails, call buttons and grab bars can be reservoirs for bacteria. A new UV light method for cleaning hospital rooms could help stop the spread of dangerous bacteria, and in turn, save lives. (Photo: Texas A&M Health Science Center)

Can a robot clean a hospital room just as well as a person?

According to Chetan Jinadatha, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and chief of infectious diseases at the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System in Temple, that is indeed the case.

While it may sound more like science fiction than real life, Jinadatha’s research that looks at the effectiveness of a germ-zapping robot to help clean hospital rooms could hold the key to preventing the spread of “superbugs” – in turn, saving countless dollars and, most importantly, lives.

Keeping hospital rooms clean is important to prevent the spread of infections from one patient to another. Surfaces in hospital rooms such as tray tables, bedrails, call buttons and grab bars can be reservoirs for bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which can be difficult to treat, and in some cases, fatal.

“A typical 100-bed hospital sees about 10-20 hospital-acquired infections a year,” Jinadatha says. “Our goal is to get to zero infections.”

See Vital Record for more information about this research.


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