The Republic of Liberia is one of four countries in West Africa affected by the Ebola outbreak which, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), started in Guinea in December 2013 before spreading to neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone, and then to Nigeria. WHO says over 1,200 people in the four countries have died in the outbreak.
Ebola virus disease is a hemorrhagic fever caused by infection with the Ebola virus. The virus is highly contagious, but only spreads through contact with blood and other bodily fluids of infected people.
Robots calculate and deliver lethal dose of UV-C
The two 5' 5" machines - known as TRU-D SmartUVC - use a unique technology called Sensor360 to calculate the time needed to react to the particular features of a room. For instance, the technology takes into account the size, shape, surface reflectivity, the amount of equipment in the room and where it is situated.
The TRU-D (Total Room Ultraviolet Disinfector) device delivers a single, lethal cycle of UV-C light from the middle of the room.
Image credit: PRNewsFoto/TRU-D
Once it has calculated these room paramaters, the TRU-D (Total Room Ultraviolet Disinfector) device delivers a single, lethal cycle of UV-C light from the middle of the room.
The deadly dose of UV-C light alters the DNA of viruses like Ebola so they cannot replicate and carry on spreading and colonizing patients.
Nearly a dozen validation studies show that TRU-D is 99.99% effective in eliminating the most common pathogens that cause health care associated infections.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasize that thorough disinfection and safe handling of potentially contaminated materials is extremely important in hospitals treating Ebola patients. Traces of the virus can remain in blood, sweat, vomit, feces and other bodily secretions and potentially infect anyone coming into contact with them.
Dozens of disease specialists from the CDC are already in Liberia, helping the authorities contain one of the largest outbreaks of Ebola in history.
Disinfecting robots to be deployed in two hospitals in Monrovia, capital of Liberia
TRU-D is the brainchild of Dr. Jeffery L. Deal, Fellow of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Dr. Deal is accompanying the two devices to Liberia and will teach hospital staff how to operate them. The two machines will be deployed in JFK Hospital and ELWA Hospital in the capital, Monrovia. Dr. Deal explains:
"We developed TRU-D SmartUVC technology to combat the devastating effects of hospital acquired infections. Unlike many diseases, Ebola strikes hospital workers more than any other group, making it the ultimate hospital acquired infection."
Both machines have recently taken part in a 28-month CDC-funded study - the Duke University Prevention Epicenter Program - to evaluate real-world applications of UV-C disinfection.
TRU-D technology is already being used in all types of health care settings in the US, Canada, the UK and Saudi Arabia to eradicate a range of pathogens, including not only Ebola but methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, Middle East respiratory syndrome, influenza, norovirus, Clostridium difficile, and others.
In July 2013, Medical News Today learned of a UK study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection that found TRU-D significantly reduced hospital superbugs.
Written by Catharine Paddock PhD