$160,000 to buy germ zapping robot for Langley hospital

Hospital foundation puts out plea for help purchasing COVID-related equipment

Langley’s hospital could soon have a robot designed to irradiate the pathogens that cause COVID-19.

With a price tag of $160,000, it’s hoped the local hospital foundation can fundraise enough money quickly to buy an ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) robot that can deep clean and disinfect “hot spots” in the hospital, explained Heather Scott, the new Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation executive director.

RELATED: ‘Germ-killing robots’ to fight COVID-19 at this B.C. hospital

Although there are some robots shared across the Fraser Health facilities, Langley Memorial Hospital has a “great need for one dedicated to its campus,” she said, putting out a plea to the public for support funding this “important piece of equipment.”

The robot, used in patient areas such as the intensive care unit, as well as general medical units and the hospital’s long-term care facility, works by emitting concentrated ultraviolet light to kill SARS-CoV-2 that may linger on surfaces. It will help frontline healthcare workers in the fight against COVID, Scott elaborated.

The robots are a safe and effective tool to reduce the risk of infection and help keep patients and their health care workers healthy.

“As Langley’s hospital continues to be there to meet the urgent care needs of our community, Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation is here to ensure frontline care teams have the best tools and resources they need and deserve,” Scott said.

The hospital foundation has been fundraising for a number of COVID-related pieces of equipment unexpectedly needed during this pandemic, and foundation spokesperson Terra Scheer said the community “has been incredibly generous so far.”

Through donations, they recently purchased 150 infection control curtains, as well as a $7,000 ultrasound machine that assists with intubation for critically ill patients in the ER.

RELATED: Drawing a curtain against COVID-19 at Langley Memorial Hospital

Long-time hospital supporter from the Rotary Club of Aldergrove also donated $4,500 last month towards a much needed vital signs monitor. And the foundation has raised enough to buy 35 of 60 needed iPads to better connect patients with their loved ones during the current visitor restrictions.

Donations also made acquiring three nebulizers possible that are used for treating cystic fibrosis, asthma, COPD, and other respiratory diseases or disorders, Scheer explained.

In addition to the “urgently needed” irradiation robot, she said the foundation is currently fundraising for ventilators and three more vital signs monitors.

“We understand it’s a challenging time for everyone in our community, and together, we will come through this stronger than ever,” Scott added.

To support the purchase of an ultraviolet germicidal irradiation robot, people can go online to lmhfoundation.com/COVID.

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Heather Scott is the new executive director for the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

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