Clinical trials have been carried out and are under way at hospitals around the world, providing a variety of ward types (geriatric, intensive care and general medical), local clinical strains of organisms and national healthcare settings to put copper and copper alloys to the test.
The results show a greater than 90% reduction in contamination on copper vs standard surfaces demonstrating copper’s ability to work continuously in challenging clinical environments, to reduce the number of microbes on surfaces and hence the risk of infection.
The latest clinical trial data shows that patients in ICU rooms fitted with6 antimicrobial copper surfaces, ie just 10% of the touch surface area per room, have a > 40% lower risk of acquiring an HCAI than those in control rooms, without copper.
According to Professor Tom Elliott, leader of the Selly Oak trial in the UK,
“The findings of a 90 to 100% killing of those organisms, even after a busy day on a medical ward with items being touched by numerous people, is remarkable. So it may well offer us another mechanism for trying to defeat the spread of infection.”
These findings have since been supported by results from other trials, as reported below, and hospitals around the world are starting to specify antimicrobial copper touch surfaces as an additional weapon in the fight against infection.