Robots that Destroy Ebola Germs with Vapor Technology now in Combat at Hospitals including Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas

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With the Ebola threat spreading, decontamination robots have been called to duty in Dallas to disinfect areas within the hospital that were exposed to the first documented case of Ebola in the United States. The remote controlled robotic decontamination systems made by the biotech company, Bioquell, have been used in a variety of places around the world to combat the current outbreak including the National Institutes of Health.

With the Ebola threat spreading, decontamination robots have been called to duty in Dallas to disinfect areas within the hospital that were exposed to the first documented case of Ebola in the United States. The remote controlled robotic decontamination systems made by the biotech company, Bioquell, have been used in a variety of places around the world to combat the current outbreak including the National Institutes of Health.

Says Ed Striefsky, the Director of Operation at Bioquell, “The technology makes the hospitals and areas safer after Ebola patients are treated. The end result is it helps protect current and future patients, the staff, and the surrounding community.”

Company officials available to comment on work being done to ensure safe hospital facilities where Ebola patients are treated.

The portable, automated system uses a 35 percent hydrogen peroxide solution, which is distributed as a vapor throughout the contaminated area, ensuring complete, three-dimensional coverage. After the EPA-registered hydrogen peroxide is removed and the decontamination effectiveness is verified, emergency vehicles and hospital rooms can return to service immediately.

“When a room is sealed, our vapor is distributed equally throughout the room ensuring that dangerous pathogens are eliminated,” said Striefsky.

The effectiveness of the technology – designed and produced by Bioquell, located in the suburbs of Philadelphia – has been recognized by hospitals and government agencies around the world as an effective measure against deadly pathogens, not just Ebola. Since the beginning of the recent Ebola outbreak, Bioquell’s robots and decontamination teams have been deployed globally to treat hospital rooms at risk of contamination with Ebola, including the United States, United Kingdom, France and Holland.

“With a pathogen such as Ebola, totally eliminating any risk of residual contamination is clearly of paramount importance,” James Salkeld, Head of Healthcare at Bioquell said. “It is reassuring to see that the NIH and hospitals globally are adopting a zero tolerance policy by selecting Bioquell’s technology to decontaminate risk areas.”

Frequently Asked Questions about Bioquell and Ebola:

Once an Ebola patient has left a facility, is there still a risk of exposure?
Yes, because the disease is transmitted through bodily fluids, any fluids that remain in the room could create a continued risk of exposure. We know that hospitals often carry the largest risk of spreading infectious diseases. It is important for hospitals and other treatment facilities to take the strongest precautions in decontaminating any area or equipment that is exposed to the Ebola virus.

How is the Ebola virus eliminated from a facility after the patient has left? Bioquell uses a state-of-the-art technology to fully decontaminate the facility once the patient's treatment is completed or they are moved to another location. This technology doesn't damage any of the equipment used in the facility, and it doesn't require exposing any hospital staff to the contaminated facility. Instead, the Bioquell robot is moved into the room and emits a hydrogen peroxide vapor. This vapor enters every nook and cranny of the room and completes disinfection. It's also safe for use with electronic devices.

How can someone be sure the virus has been eliminated?
Bioquell uses a verification system that allows us to ensure that contaminants have been eliminated. We place biological and chemical test strip indicators on the walls and other locations in the facility to ensure complete exposure to the hydrogen peroxide solution.

What’s different about Bioquell than other disinfectants on the market like those that emit UV lights?
Bioquell is the leading product for elimination of superbugs in hospital facilities. There are many products on the market that work in other situations. For example, products that emit UV lights are beneficial for hospitals trying to reduce the presence of disease, but they are not effective at total elimination. Machines that emit UV lights are limited by shadowing and decreased effectiveness at longer distances, creating varied results. Bioquell distributes a vapor that can reach inside every exposed nook and cranny of a hospital room or other facility. Bioquell’s vapor cycles are repeatable and achieve the highest level of disinfection every time.

Is this a new technology?
No, the Bioquell system has been used to eliminate other "super bugs" from hospitals and treatment facilities. Many hospitals depend on Bioquell to ensure that bugs like MRSA (common antibiotic-resistant bacteria) are eliminated from hospital rooms. Our robots are used around the globe to create safer hospitals.

What if there is a large-scale outbreak of Ebola outside of West Africa?
Bioquell has a large technician team, as well as a large inventory of robots. This allows us to quickly handle high demand and scale up for large area decontamination, if necessary. Any area that can be isolated has the ability to be decontaminated. Bioquell also has a complimentary technology – the Pod (http://www.bioquell.com/en-uk/markets/product-selector/bioquell-pod/), which can take a large, open area and segment it into single room enclosures. This technology - recently implemented in the Middle East and the UK where open hospital units are common – are designed to limit the spread of pathogens in open units (many ER’s in the US are still open).

How dangerous are hospital or treatment facilities left untreated after an Ebola patient leaves?
Ebola can survive on dry surfaces for days and even weeks under certain conditions, especially when dried in blood or other body fluids. This may be a risk for incoming patients if not decontaminated adequately.

Why is your technology the most effective?
The Bioquell technology is validated by many years of research from institutions like Johns Hopkins Hospital and Yale University. Because the technology delivers an equal distribution of vapor throughout the room or ambulance, it is the most effective in ensuring all areas have been decontaminated. Bioquell uses special chemical and biological indicators to validate or verify that the decontamination has been achieved. The process kills 99.9999% of pathogens on surfaces, which is associated with elimination, not just reduction.

Manual cleaning relies on hospital staff. Special attention is needed to ensure the appropriate distribution of the cleaning agent is applied and the contact and dwell time meet the label directions to be effective. Even with that, it is difficult for a human to touch every surface evenly. Other no-touch decontamination technologies are associated with a reduction, but not an elimination of organisms. This is typically due to issues with distribution, like line of sight and shadowing, combined with less killing power.

Hydrogen peroxide seems like such a simple chemical, how does it work to eliminate Ebola, which seems like such a super bug?
Bioquell utilizes a 35 percent hydrogen peroxide solution, which is an EPA-registered sterilant. The robot vaporizes hydrogen peroxide and it is then distributed evenly throughout the room. When the invisible, residue-free vapor comes in contact with the bug, the bug is killed. The technology is the driving force behind the results since it allows the hydrogen peroxide to be distributed evenly and in a repeatable manner.

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Doug Simon
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