Copper surfaces lower risk of acquiring hospital infections

The use of antimicrobial copper surfaces in intensive care unit rooms has been found to reduce the risk of acquiring infections by 40 percent, according to a study funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. Study results are to be submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for review and approval.

The study was designed to determine the efficacy of antimicrobial copper in reducing the level of pathogens in hospital rooms, and whether such a reduction would translate into a lower risk of infection. Initial results of the clinical trial were presented at the World Health Organization’s 1st International Conference on Prevention and Infection Control (ICPIC) in Geneva, Switzerland on July 1.

Researchers at the three hospitals involved in the trial replaced commonly touched items, such as bed rails, overbed tray tables, nurse call buttons and IV poles, with antimicrobial copper versions.

The reduction rate demonstrated on antimicrobial copper surfaces is the same as that achieved by “terminal” cleaning, the regimen conducted after each patient vacates a room, according to a release.

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