Using Antimicrobial Copper for Improving Patient Safety

Antimicrobial surface protection for patientsEvery day, hospital workers strive to improve the health of their patients, but almost as much effort is taken to protect those patients from developing additional infections. Since they are filled with the ill, elderly, and immune-weakened, hospitals are a regrettably frequent source of additional disease. These healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) are not only dangerous, but they are also increasingly resistant to treatment. With HAI becoming more difficult to treat with each passing year, taking steps to prevent infection in the first place is becoming more and more crucial. Fortunately, these are situations with which antimicrobial copper is poised to help.

What Is a Healthcare-Acquired Infection?

As the name implies, a HAI is any infectio Read More

The Difference between Antimicrobial and Antibacterial Products

antibacterial copper The terms "antibacterial" and "antimicrobial" are often used interchangeably and the two share some overlap, but that is where the similarities end. The confusion is understandable, of course. Antibacterial products kill bacteria—which is microscopic—therefore antibacterial should mean the same as antimicrobial, right? Unfortunately, that's not how the differences actually play out. Illnesses that come from pathogens fall under certain categories: bacterial, viral, or fungal. All of these are microbial, but only one of them is affected by antibiotics. Despite this, it can be easy to assume that proper protection can be acquired by antibacterial products alone, especially in a healthcare setting. Afte Read More

Using Copper Protection-Antimicrobial against Superbugs

Copper Protection gainst AntimicrobialAntibiotic-resistant superbugs are a very real concern for both the healthcare industry and public health in general. As diseases like E. coli, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), or strep become resistant to common, safe treatments, healthcare providers will find themselves either forced to use more dangerous medications or be stuck trying to minimize symptoms but unable to eliminate the root cause. The emergence of bacteria resistant to carbapenems—one of the drugs used as a last resort—scientists are scrambling more than ever to find new medicines. This is why it is better to take steps that can protect patients from getting these infections in the first Read More

How to Select the Right Antimicrobial Product

right antimicrobial productAs people become more aware of the risks posed by bacteria, coupled with concerns about growing antibiotic resistance, an increasing number of antimicrobial products have appeared on the market. Tiles, wood, wall surfacing, spray coatings, and more are all available that purport to be either made of antimicrobial materials directly or incorporate an additive that offers protective properties. While this broad selection is good for consumers looking to have options, anyone in a healthcare setting—where healthcare-acquired infections are omnipresent concerns—have much more invested in ensuring that they use the right antimicrobial products. As such, here are some quick tips for evaluating antimicrobial claims Read More

Gram-Negative Infections Prevented By Aereus Shield™

Hospital Disinfection Products"Gram-negative bacteria" is the catch-all term for any bacteria that, unsurprisingly, tests negative during a Gram stain (a method for identifying and separating individual bacterium into two larger sets). This group is of particular interest to healthcare facilities because so many of the common healthcare-acquired infections result from exposure to these occasionally antibiotic-resistant pathogens. By employing the antimicrobial power of copper, Aereus Shield™ is capable of killing gram-negative bacteria and is a welcome addition to any hospital's disinfection arsenal. Aereus Shield™ is effective enough to kill 99.99% of gram-negative ba Read More

Aereus Shield™ Copper Coating and Chalking

Copper Alloy CoatingFor architects and designers around the world, an alloy coating must meet certain specifications; these specifications have been standardized by organizations such as the AAMA (American Architectural Manufacturers Association) and Qualicoat. When looking at a product and its finish, some of these standards include chalk resistance, gloss retention, and colour retention for coating weatherability.

What is Chalking?

Chalking is that fine powder layer that forms on the surface of a finished product. It is always preceded by gloss loss (surface roughening) and over time can cause a product’s colour to fade. Unfortunately all paints eventually chalk and many powder-coated products also chalk.

What Causes Chalking?

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Showdown: Copper v. Silver in the Antimicrobial Arena

woman patient in hospital with saline intravenous (iv)Copper is not the only antimicrobial metal used in biocidal coatings. Silver has been known to have antibacterial properties for several hundred years and was used as far back as the days of Hippocrates. However, age does not automatically mean effectiveness and healthcare facilities can't risk patient safety by choosing the lesser material. Understanding how copper and silver compare and contrast in antimicrobial ability is a big part of making the right decision for protective coatings.

The Methods of Microbial Murder

Copper and silver's antimicrobial properties take place on a molecular level in almost opposing fashions. Copper works on a bacteria's exterior while Read More

Understanding and Controlling Nosocomial Infections

Healthcare-Acquired Infections controlA "nosocomial infection" is another term for a healthcare-acquired infection (HAI). These describe any disease that a patient contracts from a healthcare setting like a hospital or nursing home. To count as an HAI, the patient has to have been admitted for reasons other than the developed infection and also can't have been showing signs of an active or incubating infection at the time. Additionally, the infection has to occur under one of the following conditions: -Up to 3 days after being discharged. -Up to 30 days following an operation. -In a healthcare facility where the patient was admitted for a reason unrelated to the infection. Every year, nosocomial infections affect over 220,000 Canadians. Read More

Debunking the Copper Myths

Hand-Washing Is Good EnoughHealthcare-acquired infections (HAI) are an ever-present problem in the healthcare system. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, there are roughly 200,000 HAI incidents every year with an overwhelming 80% coming from staff, visitors, or fellow patients. This is 200,000 illnesses that can be prevented with improved safety measures. The use of antimicrobial copper is one such measure, but there are a regrettable number of misconceptions that stand in the way of its employment. Fortunately, truth always finds a way.

"Hand-Washing Is Good Enough"

The idea that proper hand-washing protocols is enough to prevent contamination makes sense on paper but doesn't work out as well in practice. Whether th Read More

The Benefits of Touch Surface Protection

Antimicrobial Copper SurfacesYou may have heard that there are more bacteria on your phone or keyboard than on your toilet seat. This is because touch surfaces—frequently-contacted surfaces like doorknobs, keyboards, or light switches—get much more exposure to any pathogens you might be carrying around. The same is true of everyone else, and is also why hospitals are paradoxical breeding grounds for infection. Finding ways of turning touch surfaces into antibacterial surfaces is a top concern in hospitals since it's a key way to keep patients and staff safe from healthcare-acquired infections. There are numerous metals that have antibacterial properties which could be worked into common touch surfaces. Read More