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How Copper Can Control Hospital Acquired Infections

Hospital Acquired Infections With CopperHospitals are meant to be healing facilities where patients can be treated for their ailments and recover successfully. Unfortunately, having a building where sick people gather tends to result in the spread of disease. Getting sick at a hospital can result in extra complications, worsen existing conditions, extend stays, or prove fatal.

Every year there are over 220,000 hospital acquired infections and roughly 8,000 to 12,000 result in deaths. These are preventable conditions; while healthcare workers do their utmost to prevent them, they continue to occur. The problem is that hospitals have a lot of surfaces where bacteria can linger. Counters, floors, handles, walls, equipment trays, monitors, and the list just goes on. Unfortunately, even the most powerful chemical cleaners suffer from human limitations.

The Trouble With Traditional Disinfectant

The effectiveness of any chemical disinfectant relies on how long it is allowed to set before being washed away, how thoroughly it is applied, and how concentrated it is. A hospital worker may think they’ve done a good job cleaning a counter, for instance, but they may have inadvertently missed a spot where pathogens can continue to thrive. Or, alternatively, they may have washed the cleaner off too early and missed out on killing all the pathogens on the surface. Getting a thorough, intensive cleaning is regrettably too demanding and time-consuming to be done routinely over an entire hospital environment. It only takes one faulty cleaning to cause a Hospital Acquired Infection (HAI).

Proactive steps can be taken by healthcare facilities to reduce the transfer of bacteria by installing self-sanitizing surfaces like copper and other antimicrobial surfaces. This is a more proactive method that will reduce pathogens as they make contact with the surface of objects that would normally help them spread. Copper has proven to be one of the most successful self-sanitizing solutions.

Copper Kills on Contact

Copper has an interesting effect on microorganisms. Bacteria are surrounded by membranes held together by electrical microcurrents. Contact with copper disrupts this current and weakens the membrane, causing holes to appear. In other words, copper is capable of rupturing the cell membrane of bacteria and other pathogens, often resulting in their death.

This reaction is why copper is such an excellent method of sterilization. Copper works to reduce bacteria on a surface between regular cleanings. Copper has been proven effective at killing the culprits behind many Hospital Acquired Infections like staph infections, ecoli, VRE, MRSA.

For the Canadian market, a copper alloy coating is available for Class I & Class II medical devices. Aereus Shield is a permanent copper alloy coating that looks like stainless steel with power of copper. The copper alloy coating is ideal for high-touch public surfaces delivering continuous microbial action, even after repeated contamination. Copper and copper alloys never stop working; they remain active for the life of the product making them a perfect addition in the battle against Hospital Acquired Infections.

Aereus Technologies is a Canadian Biotech company headquartered in Burlington, Ontario. Our research and development into copper alloy-based technology has resulted in the antimicrobial coating, Aereus Shield™. For information contact us today.

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Michelle Berelowitz

Michelle Berelowitz has 15+ years commercializing technology start-ups in the Toronto-Waterloo corridor with strong strategic, operational and management skills within both publicly traded and technology based start-up companies. Michelle has a background in manufacturing, ICT and biotech combined with degrees in political science, finance &strategic management and Masters of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology from the University of Waterloo.