Should You Install Clinical Copper Surfaces?

July 11, 2018 | Evaluations & Guidance


Contaminated surfaces can lead to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). One approach hospitals have used to supplement environmental surface disinfection is the use of copper alloy solid surfaces (e.g., bedrails, overbed tables, sink faucet handles), which have been shown to reduce the number of viable (i.e., living) surface bacteria.

As we'll see, however, there are two concerns with this approach. One is that there is not yet evidence that the use of copper-containing solid surfaces leads to a conclusive reduction in HAI rates. The other is that these surfaces must be kept clean so that dead bacteria don't prevent copper's bactericidal effects from reaching the new layers of living bacteria that accumulate on top of the dead ones.

Given these factors, should you use copper-containing surfaces? Possibly—but there are other measures that...

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