Copper-infused products reduced HAIs by 78 percent at Sentara Leigh Hospital

Sentara Leigh Hospital recently participated in a 10-month clinical trial on the relationship between copper-infused products and hospital-acquired infections like C-difficile, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus. After incorporating hard surfaces and linens infused with copper oxide compounds into patient rooms, the Norfolk, Va.-based hospital reported a 78 percent overall reduction in multi-drug resistant organisms.

Here are five things to know.

  1. For the study, Sentara deployed the copper-infused surfaces and linens in 124 patient rooms.

  2. Richmond, Va.-based Cupron provided copper-infused linens, including bed sheets, pillow cases, patient gowns and towels for the patient rooms. Norfolk, Va.-based EOS Surfaces developed copper-infused countertops, bathroom sinks, bedside tables and bedrails featured in the rooms. Nursing and charging stations also contained the copper-infused surfaces.

  3. Researchers monitored the amount of patients staying in these special rooms that were diagnosed with hospital acquired infections and compared those rates to a control wing of patients staying in rooms with no copper-infused surfaces or linens.

  4. The copper-infused wing reported 78 percent fewer HAIs due to multi-drug resistant organisms or C. diff, 83 percent fewer cases of C. diff infection and 68 percent fewer infections due to multi-drug resistant organisms relative to the baseline period. Researchers observed no changes in rates of hospital acquired infections in the unchanged hospital wing.

  5. The researchers concluded, "These results suggest antimicrobial surfaces and linens may have substantial impact in reducing HAIs due to problematic multi-drug resistant organisms in a hospital that has already employed aggressive infection control measures and has low rates of HAIs."

More articles on infection control and clinical quality:

Nurses' scrubs likely aid spread germs to patients, study finds
11 hospitals in Florida with top nurse-patient communication scores
Should sporicidal agents be ammunition in the C. diff fight?



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