home
RSS
Copper in hospital rooms may stop infections
Researchers installed copper alloy surfaces in the areas of the ICU room shown above.
May 14th, 2013
04:12 PM ET

Copper in hospital rooms may stop infections

Hospital-acquired infections are a huge problem in the United States. Wouldn't it be amazing if they could be prevented merely through the materials used in the hospital room?

Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina explored covering key surfaces in hospital intensive care units in copper alloy, and found that this is an effective measure against the spread of some key types of bacterial infections. Their study is published in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

Background

Up to $45 billion a year is spent on health care costs related to hospital-acquired infections, and an estimated 100,000 deaths occur annually because of them, the study authors wrote.

The antimicrobial properties of copper have been known for hundreds of years, said Michael Schmidt, the study's senior author - for at least 4,500 years. Ancient Indians realized that if water sits in a copper pot, this prevents illness, because the copper kills the bacteria. It's not used as often nowadays because molded plastics and stainless steel have taken over, being easy and in expensive.

How does it work? Copper is used to transmit electrons in walls for electricity. Similarly, bacteria will donate electrons to the copper metal, which places the organism in an electrical deficit. As a consequence, free radicals are generated inside the cell. The cell's proteins essentially get bleached, and its DNA get fractured. The electrical potential of the cell also gets collapsed.

"It's pretty hard to develop resistance from that multi-hit mechanism of action," Schmidt said.

How they did it

The study authors conducted the trial in the intensive care units of three different hospitals. Patients were randomly placed in copper or non-copper rooms. The study took place between July 2010 and June 2011.

Copper is an expensive material, so researchers carefully chose which parts of the ICU room should have the coating, based on the likelihood of a patient, staff member or visitor touching it. These included the rails that the patient uses to lift himself or herself out of bed, chair arms, the IV pole, the remote control and the tray that's used over the bed. On the whole, copper surfaces covered less than 10% of the room in the settings used in this study.

The researchers were most interested in the spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE). They compared the rates of hospital-acquired infections from any cause, or colonization with one of these two types of bacteria in the patients. Colonization means the bacteria is present on the person - such as on the skin, respiratory tract or gastrointestinal tract - without signs or symptoms of infection, said lead study author Dr. Cassandra Salgado.

Results

Rooms with copper alloy surfaces were associated with lower infection and colonization for both of these types of bacteria than in normal ICU rooms. For hospital acquired infections, the rate was lowered from 0.081 to 0.034.

Implications

The challenge, of course, is investing the capital into buying new furniture and equipment for ICU rooms, Schmidt said. But he calculates that the cost of outfitting a room in this way would be recovered, in terms of money saved from preventing infections, after three months.

The researchers did not look at whether this intervention affects a patient's 30-day readmission rate, or whether it would work in a hospital room that's not part of an ICU.

Other researchers are looking at whether copper also stops carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), a deadly, antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria, Schmidt said.

"Bacteria have sex so quickly among their friends in their hospital environment, it may actually reduce the spread of CRE and other multi-drug resistant microbes, simply because the DNA is fractured," Schmidt said.

Some of the study authors reported financial connections to the Copper Development Industry, which is the market development, engineering and information services arm of the copper industry.

But this isn't the only research team that's looking into this question. A separate group at the University of California, Los Angeles, received a $2.5 million federal grant in 2012 to study the germ-fighting effectiveness of copper in hospitals. The cost effectiveness of that is still unclear, said Dr. Daniel Uslan, director of the antimicrobial stewardship program at UCLA's Geffen School of Medicine.

"I suspect the costs will be favorable, but more data is needed and I hope our study at UCLA will answer this important question," he said in an e-mail. "We also don't yet know which surfaces in a room are most critical. Can you get by with just coating one or two items, or do all the touch surfaces need to be copper coated? Obviously the costs will change dramatically depending on the number of surfaces coated."


soundoff (491 Responses)
  1. Maserati Crossover

    This is a good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise information… Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read post!

    http://jidagang.tieba01.com/go.php?http://maseratis.net

    May 17, 2021 at 01:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Mercedes Sprinter Rust Repair Panels

    You're so cool! I do not think I've read through anything like this before. So good to find somebody with some unique thoughts on this subject. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality!

    http://www.shippingchina.com/pagead.php?id=RW4uU2hpcC5tYWluLjE=&tourl=https://sprintervanrepairshop.com/sprinter-van-repair-shop-near-me-2

    May 17, 2021 at 02:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Kris Stackpole

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these second life authors and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2018/05/border-crossers.html?showComment=1566393124060

    May 17, 2021 at 08:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. pageThumbnail-1

    Hello There. I found your weblog using msn. That is a really well
    written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your helpful information. Thank you for the post.
    I will definitely comeback.

    May 17, 2021 at 08:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Maserati Mc 20

    http://www.exif.tools/http://www.maseratis.net

    May 17, 2021 at 11:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Maserati Ghibli Blue

    I was pretty pleased to find this page. I wanted to thank you for your time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely liked every bit of it and I have you bookmarked to look at new information in your site.

    http://m.shopindenver.com/redirect.aspx?url=https://maseratiforum.net

    May 17, 2021 at 12:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. rv roof repair near me

    Very good article. I am dealing with many of these issues as well..

    /

    May 17, 2021 at 13:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Repair California

    /

    May 17, 2021 at 13:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. rv repair parts near me

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe this site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the information!

    http://www.glorioustronics.com/redirect.php?link=https://deixarnet.medicineone.net/Agenda/tabid/73/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/23/Default.aspx

    May 17, 2021 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Maserati Mc

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It's always interesting to read content from other authors and use something from other sites.

    https://www.etracker.de/lnkcnt.php?et=qPKGYV&url=https://www.maseratiforum.net

    May 17, 2021 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RV Supplies Riverside

    http://p4trc.emv2.com/DTS?url=https://bigfoottube.com/trout-farm-raided-by-bigfoot-ogden-utah/

    May 17, 2021 at 17:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Sang Duque

    I don't know about you people but I infatuated with airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loves airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2009/05/passengers-satisfaction-with-airlinesis-rising/

    http://www.washingtonbids.us/washington-contractors/naics-712110-Museums.htm

    May 18, 2021 at 03:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. how to repair a slide out on a travel trailer

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It's always helpful to read through content from other authors and use something from their web sites.

    https://login.talend.com/logout.php?redirectUrl=https://ocrvcenter.com/

    May 18, 2021 at 08:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. car upholstery repair orange county

    That is a good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Simple but very precise information… Thank you for sharing this one. A must read article!

    https://www.e-search.ohimesamaclub.com/y/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=13&url=https://ocrvcenter.com

    May 18, 2021 at 12:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Red Bull Kegs

    I like looking through a post that can make men and women think. Also, thanks for allowing for me to comment!

    https://kichink.com/home/issafari?uri=https://craftbrewersofboise.com/

    May 18, 2021 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Senior Care Palm Springs

    http://adventuresonly.com/redirecthandler.ashx?url=http://assistedlivingseniorcarepalmdesert.com/

    May 18, 2021 at 17:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. adhd coach

    This web site truly has all of the information and facts I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    http://www.guru-pon.jp/search/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=107&url=https://menmastermind.com/

    May 18, 2021 at 18:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Commercial Roof Repairs

    bookmarked!!, I love your blog!

    http://partner.pccomponentes.com/servlet/effi.redir?id_compteur=13365084&url=https://sanmarinoroof.com

    May 18, 2021 at 21:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Rent A Maserati In Miami

    https://biyougeka.esthetic-esthe.com/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=848&url=https://maseratiforum.net/

    May 18, 2021 at 22:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Roof Replacement Near Me

    https://www.kanazawa-navi.com/navi/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=725&url=https://sanmarinoroof.com

    May 18, 2021 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Forklift Rental California

    This is a topic that is near to my heart... Thank you! Where are your contact details though?

    http://yellowpages.staradvertiser.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=wildwestlifttrucks.com

    May 18, 2021 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Maserati Granturismo 2010

    There's certainly a great deal to learn about this issue. I love all of the points you made.

    https://www.fugleognatur.dk/links/klik.asp?id_link=394&url=https://maseratiforum.net

    May 19, 2021 at 00:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Antonio Gmernicki

    I don't know about you all but I am obsessed with airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loves airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/06/wishing-apolo-ohno-guests-a-good-trip-to-hawaii/

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/airlinereporter/2009/12/09/get-vip-seats-to-the-boeing-787-dreamliners-first-flight/

    May 19, 2021 at 05:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Commercial Roof Restoration Near Me

    Great info. Lucky me I came across your blog by chance (stumbleupon). I have saved it for later!

    http://blogpeople.net/cgi-bin/click.cgi?u=https://sanmarinoroof.com/

    May 19, 2021 at 07:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Pool Services California

    I used to be able to find good information from your blog articles.

    http://jump.fan-site.biz/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=342&url=http://paradisepoolandspa.org/

    May 19, 2021 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. rv renovation companies

    I enjoy reading through a post that will make men and women think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

    https://www.adventuresonly.com/redirecthandler.ashx?url=https://www.mayatama.id/?p=76

    May 19, 2021 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. rv parts orange county

    http://neoromance.info/link/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=26&url=http://yarbnas.com/video/how-to-make-2x18w-2-1-channel-subwoofer-tda2030a-at-home/comment-page-131/

    May 19, 2021 at 16:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. camper repairs near me

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon everyday. It's always helpful to read content from other writers and use something from other web sites.

    http://vanpeople.com/space/link.php?url=http://pewsplace.com/fat-girl-friday/

    May 19, 2021 at 16:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Restoration Near Me

    I want to to thank you for this fantastic read!! I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it. I have got you saved as a favorite to check out new things you post…

    /

    May 19, 2021 at 19:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Internet Marketing Specialists

    http://www.selfphp.de/newsletterausgaben/tran.php?uid=UID-USER.&dest=http://developingprospects.com/

    May 19, 2021 at 20:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Content Marketing Agency Near Me

    http://eforce.todayir.com/en/fileview.php?file=https://bestlocalnearme.com

    May 20, 2021 at 03:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Kyle Nute

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life authors and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2011/06/post-modern-literacies.html?m=0

    May 20, 2021 at 04:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. SEO Marketing Firms

    https://glowing.com/external/link?next_url=http://bulknearme.com/

    May 20, 2021 at 05:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Internet Marketing Specialists

    https://www.export.org.au/Redirect.aspx?destination=http://postfallsfitness.com/

    May 20, 2021 at 06:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Social Media Marketing Agency Around Me

    http://www.vanpeople.com/space/link.php?url=https://internetmarketingnevada.com/

    May 20, 2021 at 08:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Internet Marketing Mechanics

    Excellent post. I definitely appreciate this website. Thanks!

    http://app.jewellerynetasia.com/aserving/t.aspx?a=C&t=301&b=1339&c=1452&l=http://online-website-marketing.com

    May 20, 2021 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. upholstery places near me

    http://etracker.cefic.org/click.aspx?uid=7aad121c-9f74-447a-8222-9ba69cb40182&fw=http://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-eastvale-california

    May 20, 2021 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV Windows California

    https://www.stardock.com/bounce/ga.aspx?utmac=UA-73966-2&utmn=619816936&utmr=-&utmp=http:///&guid=ON&url=http://ocrv.art/rv-repair-shop-grand-terrace-california

    May 20, 2021 at 17:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RV Beds Riverside

    I used to be able to find good info from your blog articles.

    https://www.meetme.com/apps/redirect/?url=https://ocrv.pro/rv-repair-shop-compton-california

    May 20, 2021 at 17:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. collision center of temecula

    Right here is the right webpage for everyone who wants to understand this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a topic that's been discussed for years. Excellent stuff, just great!

    http://balder.messe.de/werbung/www/delivery/ck.php?ct=1&oaparams=2__bannerid=1512__zoneid=697__cb=18dc65fbad__oadest=https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-south-pasadena-california

    May 20, 2021 at 19:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. 2006 Dodge Sprinter 2500 Heater Control Repair

    http://sportsinsights.actionnetwork.com/affiliatewiz/aw.aspx?B=53&A=188&Task=Click&TargetURL=https://sprintervanrepairshop.com/rv-repair-shop-near-me-2/

    May 20, 2021 at 23:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. window repair orange county

    This page certainly has all of the information and facts I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    https://scripts.affiliatefuture.com/AFClick.asp?affiliateID=1567&merchantID=617&programmeID=2028&mediaID=0&tracking=&url=https://ocrv.world/rv-flooring-repair-near-me

    May 21, 2021 at 02:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. rv alignment shops near me

    http://jmp.rgr.jp/jmp/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=265802&url=https://ocrvcenter.org/rv-camera-repair-near-me

    May 21, 2021 at 04:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Mercedes Sprinter Chasis Repair

    I'm more than happy to find this web site. I want to to thank you for your time for this fantastic read!! I definitely loved every bit of it and I have you book marked to look at new information in your site.

    http://m.caijing.com.cn/member/logout?referer=https://commercialvanrepairshop.com/semi-truck-technician-shop-near-me/

    May 21, 2021 at 06:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Sprinter Van Repair Shop

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who was doing a little research on this. And he actually ordered me lunch due to the fact that I found it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this matter here on your website.

    http://wtk.db.com/777554543598768/optout?redirect=http://ocrvfleetservices.com/gmc-cargo-van-repair-shop-near-me

    May 21, 2021 at 06:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. 2010 Sprinter Seat Belt Buckle Repair

    Hey there! I simply want to give you a big thumbs up for your great information you've got here on this post. I am returning to your site for more soon.

    https://www.tapinto.net/newsletters/5bf3cd94a06be2548000001f/register_click?url=https://boxtruckrepairshop.com/transport-van-repair-shop-near-me

    May 21, 2021 at 07:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Upgrades Los Angeles

    https://s5.histats.com/stats/r.php?869637&100&47794&urlr=&ocrvcenter.co/rv-repair-shop-seal-beach-california

    May 21, 2021 at 08:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. bus body shop

    I was able to find good info from your blog articles.

    http://em.starz.com/rbc40/c2.php?STAZ/34987929/197338/H/N/V/https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-south-gate-california/

    May 21, 2021 at 10:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. rv furniture center.com

    http://cn.onkyo.com/2018newsite/newonkyo.html?url=https://ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-interior-remodeling-near-me

    May 21, 2021 at 10:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. RV Furniture Near Me

    https://clubs.london.edu/click?uid=24ce7c96-76b4-11e6-8631-0050569d64d5&r=http://ocrvcenter.info/rv-repair-shop-yucca-valley-california

    May 21, 2021 at 10:50 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.