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Plague Doctor attire was designed to help reduce transmission of pathogens. Back in the mid-1300s, there wasn’t much understanding of how germs/bacteria spread. The concept of quarantine was first invented in Vienna during the outbreak of the plague, however, those attempts did not stop the spread of disease. In the 1400s the plague doctor’s attire was emblematic of the era. Doctors donned a full body covering and a bird-like mask that carried sweet-smelling flowers and pomanders. It wasn’t the flowers or pomanders that protected them. It was a medieval version of personal protective equipment (PPE) that helped.

Though the word disinfectant was used as early as 1837, prior to the 20th century, there was little understanding of the existence and role of pathogenic microorganisms. Phenol is considered Dr. Josep Lister was the first surgeon to use phenol to disinfect equipment and wounds during surgical procedures.to be one of the oldest known disinfectants, first used by Dr. Joseph Lister to disinfect surgical instruments and clean wounds along with a variety of other disinfectant applications – it was even used as a fungicide for fruits and vegetables.

Jumping forward to the current day, even though liquid chemical products have evolved over time, published research shows over 40% of surfaces in hospital rooms are not disinfected when using liquid chemical disinfectants. Common challenges with liquid chemicals are related to the application of the product and how long the surface must remain wet (dwell time) in order to deactivate certain pathogens. These dwell times can vary based on the pathogen and some disinfectants may not be effective against certain pathogens. Additionally, chemical disinfectants have been shown to damage surfaces over time and some medical equipment may prohibit the use of chemical cleaning, leaving infectious pathogens on surfaces that can be transmitted by hand – leading to the risk of infection. 

Over the centuries, many technological advancements have led to less invasive care and provided better revenue streams for hospitals. Seeing how resilient disease-causing pathogens can be, the integration of proven disinfection tools has become a necessary step to better combat harmful germs. 

LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots are used to disinfect hospital rooms to help reduce the pathogen transmission. There’s an ever-growing body of research showing the pulsed xenon light emitted from the LightStrike robot provides an effective final step in the disinfection process, destroying a wide variety of pathogens that survive liquid chemical cleaning. In fact, the LightStrike Robot was proven to be 22X more effective at deactivating pathogens than liquid chemical cleaning alone. Hospitals integrating this Germ-Zapping Robot into their disinfection program have experienced significant pathogen reductions with minimal impact on room turnover time.

Over a thousand healthcare facilities have used the LightSrike robot to achieve better disinfection. Today, a LightStrike disinfection cycle takes place every 6 seconds or less somewhere around the world. Isn’t that impressive? This one simple change is helping hospitals reduce pathogen transmission worldwide!

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