New research has revealed that the use of Antimicrobial Copper surfaces in hospital rooms can reduce the number of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) by 58% as compared to patients treated in intensive care units (ICUs) with non-copper touch surfaces. In the United States, 1 out of every 20 hospital patients develops an HAI, resulting in an estimated 100,000 deaths per year. Although numerous strategies have been developed to decrease these infections, Antimicrobial Copper is the only strategy that works continuously, has been scientifically proven to be effective and doesn't depend on human behavior, according to a recently study published in theMay 2013 issue of the SHEA Journal of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. "The implications of this study are critical," said Dr. Harold Michels, Senior Vice President of the Copper Development Association (CDA). "Until now, the only attempts to reduce HAIs have required hand hygiene, increased cleaning, and patient screening, which don't necessarily stop the growth of these bacteria the way copper alloy surfaces do. We now know that copper is the game-changer: it has the potential to save lives." The study, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, was conducted in the ICUs of three major hospitals: The Medical University of South Carolina, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and the Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Charleston, South Carolina. To determine the impact of copper alloy surfaces on the rate of HAIs, copper-surfaced objects were placed in each ICU, where patients are at higher risk due to the severity of their illnesses, invasive procedures, and frequent interaction with healthcare workers.
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