Copper-bottomed infection policy
Used in conjunction with existing cleaning protocols, the use of copper in healthcare facilities can result in a statistically significant fall in the number of infections contracted by patients. Recent clinical trials have shown that its antimicrobial properties can reduce the levels of pathogens and micro-organisms on touch surfaces
Figure 1: The Cu+ mark on a brass trolley
Copper’s stature as an antimicrobial material is growing rapidly. Some of the results of recent groundbreaking hospital trials, presented at WHO’s International Infection Control Conference, show its usefulness in reducing HCAIs.
At the First International Conference on Prevention and Infection Control (ICPIC) held in Geneva and organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to share knowledge and best practice about how to fight the global problem of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs), the majority of presentations focused on hand hygiene. The event also coincided with Semmelweis Day, celebrating the Hungarian physician who was an early pioneer of hand disinfection and other antiseptic procedures.
The scale of the HCAI problem is sobering: the latest WHO report states that in European healthcare facilities, around four million infections occur every year, costing an estimated €7bn (direct costs only).1
While the importance of hand hygiene is not in dispute, there was a groundswell of opinion that the role of the environment in the transmission of HCAIs is being overlooked, and there needs to be more work done to evaluate the impact of enhanced cleaning and decontamination of environmental surfaces on patient outcomes.
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