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As originally asked by Debra Pollock.
Several studies are reporting a reduction in HIA’s with the use of copper alloy objects in the hospital setting.
SHEA Study Reveals Copper Surfaces Reduced the Rate of Healthcare Acquired Infections. (SHEA) Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America released a year long study funded through a contract from the U.S. Department of Defense. A separate study was conducted at the University of California provided through a $2.5 million federal grant to study the germ fighting effectiveness of copper in hospitals.
Questions remain just how much copper is needed and cost factors for same. The research addresses anti-microbial properties of copper against MRSA and VRE.
If I didn’t think I had a sound basis for committing my company to this course, I would not have done so. Part of my reason for doing so is from experience as a member of my local acute care hospital’s board of directors for the past seven years. I have seen firsthand the financial difficulties facing smaller hospitals and how they struggle to maintain the delivery of quality healthcare.
Under the new Medicare rules, my hospital – which is heavily utilized by Medicare/Medicaid patients – stands to lose funding that is vital to its existence due to the impact of such quality indicators as readmission rates which certainly are influenced by HAI incidence. When I learned about copper’s effectiveness at killing bacteria, it made perfect sense to me to commit to the technology to help.
If the Medicare were to impose 0.10% reduction penalty on my local hospital (one of the lowest available penalties this year), it would lose over $420,000 in reimbursements. When you consider the cost of replacement copper surfaces to numbers like this, the added expense of copper is put into proper perspective.
As has been so truthfully said here, there is no magic solution to HAI’s – but that doesn’t mean we should do every practical thing we can to give the healthcare setting the best tools available to assist them in the fight. If copper works 24 x 7 killing bacteria (and for an exhaustive list of the microbes against which copper is effective, follow the work of Professor Bill Keevil of the University of Southampton, Southampton, England), then does it not make sense to install it in critical, frequent touched surfaces?
I know that the research to date centers on the ICU setting, but the numbers coming out of the study published in ICHE in April of this year are very impressive.
All that said, it still important to focus the replacement effort on those surfaces that are frequently touched and represent the most serious potential for touch transfer contamination. More copper is not better – judicious placement of copper is.
Nicely said – recognize also, as a healthcare provider maintaining the present aggressive “shotgun” (multi-step) approach, I would certainly be receptive to ensure my staff had “copper in their arsenal.”
Luther M. S.
I had been under the assumption that copper allergies were a much bigger problem.
Also, some people have issues, even with silver jewelry, depending on the purity of the silver. Sterling is 8% Cu if memory serves me correctly.
“Considering the widespread use of copper in dentistry, medicine, industrial use, coinage and personal adornment, copper sensitivities are rare. According to a 1998 report in the British Medical Journal, from 1960 to 1976, St John’s Institute of Dermatology treated only one case of copper contact allergy, which occurred in a woman whose hobby was copper beating.”
Read more: [http://www.livestrong.com/article/276340-copper-allergies/#ixzz2UcYsOjYc|leo://plh/http%3A*3*3www%2Elivestrong%2Ecom*3article*3276340-copper-allergies*3%23ixzz2UcYsOjYc/5mkv?_t=tracking_disc]
Here is a link that has a video shows the efficacy of copper in a study done at South Hampton University.
Also, the antimicrobial properties are not necessarily significant in all forms of Cu and Ag.
Joe’s molecule goes on at a cost of $.01 per square foot and will hold to the surface for 90 plus days. If you add labor cost and product cost it will not will clearly work better than copper. These metals work well but become a food source for the microbes.
I think the metals will work better in areas that are not cleaned well. If you are cleaning your spaces regularly there are cheaper ways to do the task. I could see copper on subways and the like that are rarely cleaned.
Not sure. I know it is a very complicated process. I listen to Joe discuss it all the time. What is clear is we need to fix the HAI problem.
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