Copper beds harbor less bacteria than traditional hospital beds, study finds

Hospital beds made of copper do not harbor as much bacteria during a patient stay as regular hospital beds with plastic surfaces, according to a study published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

For the study, researchers compared the contamination of intensive care unit beds outfitted with copper rails, footboards and bed controls to hospital beds with plastic surfaces.

They found that despite daily cleaning and cleaning and disinfection after patient discharge, nearly 90 percent of the beds with plastic surfaces were contaminated with unsafe levels of bacteria. In comparison, beds with copper surfaces harbored an average of 95 percent fewer bacteria throughout the patient stay.

Additionally, the copper surfaces did not require additional cleaning or special maintenance.

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