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Despite Modest Past, Copper May Be Invaluable in Preventing Hospital Infections Cont.
The researchers were surprised to find that so little copper could have “such a great affect,” Schmidt told U.S. Medicine.
Plastic and stainless steel, which have no inherent antimicrobial activity, are typically found in items and surfaces in a health-care setting, Schmidt said. However, replacing surfaces with antimicrobial copper, along with improved hand hygiene and thorough cleaning, could make a real difference, he said.
“This is really the first instance that, in concert with hand hygiene and normal cleaning of rooms, if you add this third component, you may be able to really build a solid case for reducing health-care costs and improving patient outcomes with one very economical solution,” he said.
DoD is very much concerned with HAIs and the health and welfare of troops, according to Schmidt who pointed out, “For them, it is not only about protecting the troops to the best of our ability, but at the same time it is about force readiness.”
The researchers were in the process of submitting the results for publication, according to Schmidt.
Previous research on copper’s ability to kill bacteria was affirmed by the EPA in 2008 when it allowed five copper-alloy products to be registered and to claim that copper kills 99.9 percent of bacteria within two hours.
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