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Rapides Regional's Newest Employee Zaps Germs

Miss Violet by Xenex

Have you met Rapides Regional Medical Center newest employee, Miss Violet?

She stands 5-foot-2, but packs a powerful punch that helps RRMC knock out deadly pathogens and kill multi-drug resistant organisms that put our patients at risk.

Miss Violet is a germ-fighting robot by Xenex that uses ultraviolet light to zap harmful bacteria from patient rooms throughout the hospital.

Hospitals across the country have turned to Xenex Disinfection Services to help reduce the bacterial load that is often associated with an increased risk for healthcare associated infections.

"At Xenex, our mission is to destroy the microorganisms that cause infections and harm patients. Rapides Regional Medical Center is the first facility in the region to incorporate our germ-zapping robots as part of its cleaning protocol and this investment in patient safety sets them apart," said Mark Stibich, Chief Scientific Officer. "Patients at RRMC will benefit because the hospital is going above and beyond to get their room clean and keep them safe."

The Xenex system works by pulsing xenon, an inert gas, twice a second at high intensity in a xenon ultraviolet flashlamp. This produces ultraviolet C, which penetrates the cell walls of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, mold, fungus and spores. Their DNA is instantly fused so that they are unable to reproduce or mutate, effectively killing them on surfaces and in the air without contact or chemicals.

“If you are in the hospital, it means you are ill,” said Diane Fulton, RRMC’s Chief Nursing Officer. “The last thing you or any of your caregivers want is to have your illness compounded by an infection due to a hidden germ. Miss Violet eliminates that worry.”

It takes Miss Violet between 10 and 15 minutes to disinfect a typical patient room. She is used in rooms campus-wide at Rapides Regional Medical Center. When in operation, she produces an audible click. That click is a miniature sonic boom resulting from the rapid expulsion of the pulsed oxygen gas.

And she works alone. No one can be in the room with her because the bright light she emits has the potential to irritate human eyes, though it is safe to watch her through a glass window.

Among the healthcare facilities to employ a Xenex system are M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Trinity Medical Center in Birmingham, Ala., St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix and the Cambridge Health Alliance in Boston.

The Xenex robot at RRMC was named Miss Violet by Stephanie Kidd, RN in Quality Management as part of a hospital-wide contest.

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