Practical Aspects of Reducing Bioburden With Copper: Selly Oak Hospital Case Study
Presentation delivered at IHEEM Healthcare Estates Conference 2009, Harrogate.
Copper and copper alloys have been shown to kill clinical
strains of typical hospital pathogens in the laboratory, the
groundbreaking work being done in the UK. After extensive
testing, including wear and reinfection tests, nearly 300 copper
alloys are now registered by the Environmental Protection Agency in
the USA as having antimicrobial properties. These alloys have
approved public health claims. Clinical trials are ongoing in
Chile, Germany, Japan, UK and the USA.
The world's first clinical trial to publish results was
undertaken at UHB Selly Oak by a multidisciplinary team under the
leadership of Professor Tom Elliott. On a busy medical ward,
a large number of touch surfaces on fittings and equipment were
identified as high risk ie 'contamination hot spots'. These
were replaced with copper containing components. Results of
environmental sampling show 90-100% reduced contamination on the
copper versus the control surfaces. Whilst the clinical results
have been published, the practical aspects of the installation have
not been presented until now.
This presentation will review the decisions required to select
high-risk surfaces for substitution, explain how copper can be
incorporated in these items, and discuss availability and sourcing
of products. Drawing on the experience of the UHB Estates
team, practical aspects of installation and maintenance will be
covered as well as expected lifetime costs.