Home > antimicrobial > CDA Presents a Symposium on Antimicrobial Copper and its Role in Killing Bacteria in Clinical Settings

CDA Presents a Symposium on Antimicrobial Copper and its Role in Killing Bacteria in Clinical Settings

By Wilton Moran, Copper Development Association (CDA) Project Engineer

The Copper Development Association (CDA) recently hosted a symposium on the efficacy of antimicrobial copper in health care settings in a session preceding IDWeek 2013 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. IDWeek was geared toward health care professionals in infectious diseases and health care epidemiology and prevention, including researchers, clinicians, quality and patient safety practitioners, epidemiologists, and public health officials.

October is World MRSA Awareness Month, so it was fitting the CDA hosted a symposium earlier this month preceding IDWeek, a conference for infectious disease specialists and other health care professionals in San Francisco.

We were pleased more than 100 people attended our presentation in which we discussed the prevalence of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) and the research that shows how antimicrobial copper touch surfaces can fight bacteria in a clinical setting.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has registered more than 400 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.

There was much interest in our presentation because all our participants understood the problems of HAIs and the challenges they’ve posed to patient safety. Hospital patients have a one-in-20 chance of developing an infection. If they do develop an infection, they have a one-in-20 chance of dying as a result. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HAIs kill 100,000 U.S. patients and cost up to $45 billion annually.

At the symposium, I was joined by an esteemed panel of experts on antimicrobial copper, including Michael G. Schmidt, PhD, professor and vice chair of the department of microbiology and immunology and the Medical University of South Carolina; Joseph John Jr., MD, MS, associate chief for education, Department of Medicine, at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston, S.C.; and Cassandra Salgado, MD, MS, associate professor of medicine, department of internal medicine and hospital epidemiologist, and the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, S.C.

They discussed a series of clinical trials that were completed in 2011 at the at the Medical University of South Carolina and the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center both in Charleston, South Carolina as well as the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. The testing at these locations demonstrated that incorporating antimicrobial copper into ICU rooms can greatly reduce the ICU’s bacteria levels and create a safer environment for patients.

We also were able to show that the efficacy of our antimicrobial copper trials has been vetted in peer-reviewed journals. A study that showed copper kills 83% of these bacteria was published in the July 2012 issue of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. What’s remarkable about that figure is that it doesn’t rely on changes in human behavior, such as increased hand washing, or changes to any existing cleaning protocols, for example.

We have more than 40 peer-reviewed papers and white papers in numerous other medical journals that discuss the antimicrobial property of copper. View some of those papers here.

The CDA is proud to be supporting efforts to reduce hospital-acquired infections. For more information about the benefits of Antimicrobial Copper products, contact me, wilton.moran@copperalliance.us.


* 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.
Categories: antimicrobial Tags:
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

nine − 5 =