Copper as a Microbe Killer
Sentara Healthcare Opens Copper-Infused Hospital Wing to Improve Patient Care
(Reuters) Norfolk, VA – November 15, 2013 – As patient fears of hospital infections and superbugs continue to rise, one hospital in Norfolk, Va. is taking a unique approach to battling these issues – copper.
Sentara Healthcare will open a new 129-bed patient tower at its Sentara Leigh Hospital site, where the patient rooms and most clinical spaces have been outfitted with antimicrobial copper-infused surfaces, including countertops, over-the-bed tables and bed rails. In early 2014, Sentara will add antimicrobial copper-infused textiles, ranging from bed linens to patients gowns, throughout the entire East Tower.
The use of the copper-infused surfaces and textiles will be part of an evaluation to determine whether they decrease the development of infections, and thus the need for antibiotics prescribed as a result of hospital-acquired infections. It will be the world’s largest-known study to date of durable, biologically active antimicrobial surfaces, which is expected to begin Q1 2014.
The secret ingredient to these materials is a copper technology developed by Richmond, Va.-based Cupron, a biotechnology company that has found ways to isolate copper so that it can be stabilized and imbedded in a variety of materials to take advantage of its natural antimicrobial properties
Sentara Careplex in Hampton part of clinical study with copper-infused linens
With health conscious millennials being a huge target market, there’s no doubt that activated copper products will continue to grow.