Sentara study finds copper-infused products help reduce hospital infections

Study: Copper reduces hospital infections

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- A 10-month clinical trial conducted by Sentara Healthcare found infusing hard surfaces and linens with copper led to a significant reduction in infections.

The study, conducted at Sentara Leigh Hospital in Norfolk, is the world's largest clinical trial of copper against hospital-acquired infections.

Copper-infused hard surfaces and lines were found to contribute to an 83 percent reduction in C-difficile, a bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon, and a 78 percent overall reduction in several multi-drug resistant organisms.

“Our experiment with copper products and the clinical trial just published reflects the Sentara commitment to innovation,” says Howard P. Kern, president and CEO of Sentara Healthcare. “We are relentless in the pursuit of improved clinical outcomes and an exceptional patient experience and these copper products are helping us achieve both of those goals.”

The copper-infused linens were produced by Richmond-based Cupron, Inc. and hard surfaces developed and manufactured by Norfolk-based EOS Surfaces, LLC. The products were used in 124 patient rooms in the newly-built East Tower at Sentara Leigh while a 70s-era wing served as a control. In addition, work surfaces at nursing and charting stations, in soil rooms and other common areas were also infused with copper.

“We’ve just about reached the limit of human processes to control infections in hospitals and Sentara Leigh was already performing pretty well,” said Gene Burke, MD, vice president and executive medical director for clinical effectiveness with Sentara Healthcare. “We owe it to our patients to try new approaches and this clinical trial indicates that copper-infused products are an effective addition to a robust infection prevention program.” Sentara is an integrated not-for-profit system with 12 hospitals in Virginia and North Carolina.

Sentara officials say a second clinical trial comparing the use of copper products in all 250 licensed beds in both new patient towers at Sentara Leigh Hospital against two other Sentara hospitals will take place to test the effectiveness of copper-infused products. 

The two other sites include Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital and Sentara Princess Anne Hospital. Results of the second clinical trial are expected to be published in 2017.

Results of the clinical trial were published in the American Journal of Infection Control on Sept. 28, 2016.

“Our experiment with copper products and the clinical trial just published reflects the Sentara commitment to innovation,” says Howard P. Kern, president and CEO of Sentara Healthcare. “We are relentless in the pursuit of improved clinical outcomes and an exceptional patient experience and these copper products are helping us achieve both of those goals.”


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment