Germ zapping robot fights superbugs at local hospital

CUYAHOGA FALLS - A germ zapping robot designed to kill infectious superbugs is now the newest team member of a local hospital. The machine even has a name, Violet who is designed to destroy deadly germs and bacteria lurking in rooms that often kill patients across the country.

"It helps to eliminate that fear that when they come into an institution and actually contract something that they would not otherwise have," said Doctor Rick Gemma a general surgeon at Western Reserve Hospital.

It's a fear rooted in fact, according to the CDC on an given day one in 25 patients have an infection caused by their medical care. One in nine of those infected will die during their hospital stay.

Violet uses new technology to decrease the chances of patient illness. The machine uses pulsing ultra violet light to penetrate the cell walls of bacteria, mold, fungus, spores and viruses. Killing them without contact or chemicals.

The flu is one of many illness Violet will help protect patients from during their hospital stay. Complications of the virus have killed four children across Ohio including a seven-year-old from East Liverpool and six-yea-old from Rocky River.

Adding Violet to the team will not replace any of the roughly 35 support staff hospital members. Steve Wendland the director of support services for the hospital says Violet will likely add jobs in order to effectively utilize her at the hospital.

"Patients want to come in the cleanest facility they can from you know the time they come into the door to the time they walk out the door they're looking to see how clean everything is," said Wendland.

Violet has been in use at the Western Reserve for close to a month. Hospital staff says she's a great addition and makes them feel safer on the job.

"If it was myself or my family I want them to go to a facility where they are going to be safe and not come home sicker than when they left for the hospital," said Dr. Gemma.

Violet cost the physician owned hospital $100,000. Officials say it's a small price to pay to keep patients safe.