French Hospital Development Adds Copper to Infection Prevention Measures

Genêts d'Or (Golden Bears) Hospital in Evaux Les Bains, Southern France commenced a major architectural overhaul of its facilities in 2010, and this year—during the second of three phases—antimicrobial copper touch surfaces were installed. These form part of a rigorous set of hygiene protocols developed by the Healthcare Cooperation Consortium of an inter-hospital syndicate.

4 October 2017

High-touch surfaces were identified and replaced with antimicrobial copper hardware supplied by local company FAVI, including door handles and locks, furniture handles and hand rails.

The 153-bed facility offers a follow-up and rehabilitation unit, long-term care and a unit for dependent elderly persons, including a recently-completed, 20-bed secured unit for those with special needs. It is in this unit—where hand washing can prove more challenging for patients—that the antimicrobial copper surfaces were deployed.

All rooms have been designed with the privacy and dignity of residents in mind, aiming to provide not only for their medical needs and dependencies, but also a safe and comfortable space in which long-term care can be most effectively provided.

Copper and copper alloys are engineering materials that are durable, colourful and recyclable and are widely available in various product forms suitable for a range of manufacturing purposes. Copper and its alloys offer a suite of materials for designers of functional, sustainable and cost-effective products.

Copper and certain copper alloys have intrinsic antimicrobial properties (so-called ‘Antimicrobial Copper’) and products made from these materials have an additional, secondary benefit of contributing to hygienic design. Products made from Antimicrobial Copper are a supplement to, not a substitute for standard infection control practices. It is essential that current hygiene practices are continued, including those related to the cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces.

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