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High Death Rate from Superbugs and Healthcare Acquired Infections Leads to Heightened Concern

Groundbreaking Studies Prove Copper Kills Bacteria and Point to Solutions

New York, NY (November 27, 2012) /PRNewswire/ — A recent Harris Interactive survey on the attitudes of the American public towards healthcare acquired infections (HAIs) revealed that almost one quarter (24%) of U.S. adults or someone they know have had an infection as a result of a stay in a hospital; and that 37% are most concerned about the spread of germs and bacteria in hospitals, as compared to other public places.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 2 million people acquire infections while in U.S. hospitals each year; and almost 100,000 die as a result.

With more than 2,000 hospitals being financially penalized by the federal government recently for excessive patient readmissions, hospitals now need to find a way to reduce HAI rates. Standard infection control procedures, while entirely necessary, have proven to be an insufficient answer to the problem. Innovative solutions are needed: one can be found right now in Antimicrobial Copper.

Preliminary results of a Department of Defense (DoD) study have shown that Antimicrobial Copper reduces HAIs by 41% through continuously killing bacteria on touch surfaces, such as IV poles and bedrails. This same study demonstrated that copper reduces the bacteria in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) by 83%. After rigorous testing, copper alloys have been registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to kill greater than 99.9% of Staph and E coli, as well as the superbugs MRSA, VRE and others. However, only 16% of U.S. adults polled in the Harris survey are aware of the proven power of Antimicrobial Copper to kill bacteria.

“Antimicrobial Copper healthcare equipment offers patients an added line of protection when they visit a healthcare facility for treatment,” said Dr. Archelle Georgiou, a certified physician who has practiced as a clinician and corporate managed care executive for nearly two decades. “Utilizing Antimicrobial Copper touch surfaces in simple ways such as on handrails, overbed trays and IV poles could go a long way to reducing the huge burden HAIs place on the healthcare system and the patients who need treatment.”

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About Antimicrobial Copper
* Laboratory testing shows that, when cleaned regularly, antimicrobial copper surfaces kill greater than 99.9% of the following bacteria within 2 hours of exposure: MRSA, Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE), Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and E. coli O157:H7. Antimicrobial copper surfaces are a supplement to and not a substitute for standard infection control practices and have been shown to reduce microbial contamination, but do not necessarily prevent cross contamination; users must continue to follow all current infection control practices.

EPA approval for public health claims. In the U.S., after many years of research, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has registered more than 350 copper based alloys, such as brass and bronze, as public health antimicrobial products. Antimicrobial copper is the only class of solid touch surfaces registered by the EPA to continuously kill bacteria that cause infections and pose a risk to human health.

Copper is the active, microbe killing ingredient. Antimicrobial copper isn’t just pure copper. It’s shorthand for a host of copper based metals (or alloys) that can go head-to-head with stainless steel in terms of strength, durability and aesthetics. In addition to their antimicrobial properties, copper alloys are:

Learn more at antimicrobialcopper.com, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/AntimicrobialCu.

About the Copper Development Association
The Copper Development Association Inc. is the market development, engineering and information services arm of the copper industry, chartered to enhance and expand markets for copper and its alloys in North America. Learn more at copper.org, on our blog coppertalk.org or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/coppertalk.

The Ronald McDonald House dining room after its copper retrofit. Photo Credit: South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA)
The Ronald McDonald House dining room after its copper retrofit. Photo Credit: South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA)
This hospital bed is designed with Antimicrobial Copper rails to kill bacteria.
This hospital bed is designed with Antimicrobial Copper rails to kill bacteria.
Antimicrobial Copper sinks such as this can kill bacteria in many different settings.
Antimicrobial Copper sinks such as this can kill bacteria in many different settings.

Related Links

www.antimicrobialcopper.com
www.copper.org



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