New machine could help prevent infections

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COLUMBIA - Boone Hospital Center showed off a new machine Monday that could save lives. 

Boone and MU Health Care both use new cleaning technology for disinfecting hospital rooms.

More than 721,000 infections in hospitals occurred in the U.S. in 2011 according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new Xenex machine could cut those infections in half by cleaning up germs in hospitals that go undetected according to Boone Hospital nurse Michelle Crumby.

"Think about cleaning over and over again in your house, every time you clean you take some of the bacteria off the surfaces. We are adding that extra protection to places that we may not even see that need to be cleaned," Crumby said.

The Xenex machine uses UV rays to kill bacteria. Currently Boone Hospital has two machines and uses them mainly in the intensive care units.

Concern over illnesses like ebola and the enterovirus spreading are another reason hospitals are trying to eliminate germs inside hospital rooms.

Currently there are about 150 Xenex machines in the U.S., but with the preliminary success, Crumby says she expects many more to come.