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Research demonstrates bacterial contamination in pharmacy robots

Drug dispensing robots designed to quickly prepare intravenous medications in a sterile environment can harbor dangerous bacteria, according to a report in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

During a routine screening in 2010, personnel at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina discovered Bacillus cereus bacteria in samples dispensed by their machine, the Intellifill IV. "To our knowledge, this is the first published report of a pharmacy robot being contaminated with Bacillus with resultant contamination of intravenous drug product," the report's authors write.

Bacillus is a potentially harmful bacterium that is resistant to many commonly used disinfectants, including alcohol.

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