Professor Hilary Humphreys' presentation at this year's ICPIC Conference – including recognition of copper's potential applications in healthcare settings as a mechanism to reduce environmental contamination and thus prevent healthcare-associated infections – is featured in The Lancet's event highlights.
21st July 2015
More than 1,000 infectious disease experts from 80 countries gathered in Geneva for the International Consortium for Prevention & Infection Control Conference. Hilary Humphreys - Professor of Clinical Microbiology at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Consultant Microbiologist in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin - presented on self-disinfecting surfaces, with a focus on copper. Professor Humphreys chairs the Department of Health's National Clinical Effectiveness Committee and has a long-standing research interest in HCAIs, including hospital hygiene and infection prevention and control measures.
Noting copper's proven effect on reducing environmental contamination, The Lancet observes that while clinical studies showing a significant effect on patient outcomes are currently few, an intention-to-treat randomised control trial in the US found the rate of infection or colonisation was lower in the rooms with copper alloy surfaces than standard rooms. For infection only, the rate was reduced from 0.081 to 0.034 (p=0.013).
The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Volume 15, No. 8, p883, August 2015.
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Copper Development Association
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.