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Superbug-Slaying Robot TRU-D Arrives at SMH

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TRU-D Superbug-Slaying RobotSARASOTA (Jan. 15, 2015)  – Sarasota Memorial Hospital deployed a 5-foot-5 ultraviolet robot this month to begin scanning and disinfecting rooms used to care for patients with communicable diseases and potentially dangerous infections.

During a pilot study last year, SMH decided to invest in the TRU-D robot to help manage the care of potential Ebola patients. But Ebola is not the primary or only target, said Manuel Gordillo, MD, an infectious disease specialist who serves as the hospital’s epidemiologist and medical director of Infection Prevention & Control.

“TRU-D is a wonderful tool to have for that remote chance we see an Ebola patient,” Gordillo said. “But its true benefit lies in its ability to help us prevent the day-to-day spread of dangerous germs, viruses and superbugs that threaten every community and hospital in our nation.”

Short for Total Room Ultraviolet Disinfector, the portable disinfection system emits a disinfecting dose of UV-C light that kills nearly 100 percent of the pathogens and superbugs that pose serious risks of infection in health care environments – highly contagious viruses such as influenza and norovirus, as well as antibiotic-resistant superbugs, including Clostridium difficile (C. diff.), Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE).

Hospitals typically rely on manual cleaning to disinfect rooms and clinical areas after a patient is treated or discharged. At SMH, you can now count on TRU-D to give isolation rooms and high-risk clinical areas an extra blast of sanitizing UV light. Its no-touch automated system disinfects an entire room from a single position – including cracks, crevices and shadowed spaces.  

“We still clean every room by hand, but in higher risk areas, we roll TRU-D into the room to guarantee an extra layer of protection,” said SMH Director of Hospitality Services Greg Rosenberger, who oversees the hospital’s environmental services teams. 

SMH purchased the $87,000 TRU-D robot after piloting several systems last summer and reviewing independent research validating TRU-D's ability to scan a room and automatically calculate the dose of UV light necessary to kill harmful pathogens in the room. 

The disinfecting robot was first introduced in healthcare facilities in 2007, and is currently in use in hundreds of hospitals across the U.S., Canada and Europe.

About Sarasota Memorial Health Care System: Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of inpatient, outpatient and extended care services, with more than 800 physicians, 4,000 employees and 800,000 patient visits a year. Sarasota Memorial’s 806-bed acute care hospital has been recognized repeatedly as one of the nation’s best, with superior patient outcomes and a complete continuum of outpatient services– from urgent care centers and physician groups, to laboratory and imaging centers, home health, rehabilitation and long-term care.

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