How Sentara hospitals used copper to drop infection rates

Copper-infused patient gowns, pillowcases, bed sheets, blankets and towels helped decrease infection rates at six hospitals owned by Norfolk, Va.-based Sentara Healthcare, a study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection found.

The researchers compared healthcare-associated infection rates in six Sentara Healthcare hospitals in three parallel periods before and after replacing regular linens with copper-infused ones.

Using the products by Cupron — a copper-based antimicrobial technology company — significantly decreased occurrences of Clostridium difficile infections and infections caused by multidrug resistant organisms such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, the study found.

"This study of Cupron's medical textiles alone validates their effectiveness in preventing hospital-acquired infections in a real world clinical setting, along with a robust infection prevention protocol," Jacque Butler, director of infection control and prevention at Sentara Healthcare, told CBS-affiliated television station WTKR.

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