GP Takes a Proactive Approach to Patient Safety with Copper

Antimicrobial copper door handles at a GP clinic in France

A GP in northern France has become the first to add antimicrobial copper touch surfaces to a suite of infection prevention measures aimed at reducing the spread of infectious diseases between patients.

10th February 2015

Dr Marc Deroo runs a small, independent practice in Oisemont in the Somme department of Picardie and sees around 20 patients daily. He has had the doors to his office, waiting room and toilet fitted with door handles made from solid antimicrobial copper to provide a more hygienic environment for those using the facility.

'The risk of infection spreading is not just a concern for patients at hospitals and clinics, but also those consulting private practice doctors,' explains Dr Deroo. 'Our facilities are small, meaning the number of surfaces that can act as vectors of infection is low, but the most frequently-touched surfaces are the door handles.

'Every year, patients suffering from seasonal diseases like gastroentiritis or Influenza are using these handles. Replacing them with handles that will continuously reduce surface contamination will mean the microbial burden on those surfaces is greatly reduced, lowering the risk of cross-contamination.

'My patients will see that this practice takes a proactive approach to their safety,' he concludes.

The handles were supplied by local manufacturer FAVI, who note: 'Our products are made from solid antimicrobial copper, meaning the antimicrobial efficacy is inherent to the metal and permanent. The material is 100% recyclable and completely safe to use.'

Copper is a powerful antimicrobial with rapid, broad-spectrum efficacy against bacteria and viruses, including MRSA and norovirus. It shares this benefit with a range of copper alloys, forming a family of materials collectively called 'antimicrobial copper'. Touch surfaces made from solid antimicrobial copper are used by healthcare facilities around the world to reduce the spread of infection.

Multiple clinical trials have shown antimicrobial copper surfaces harbour >80% less contamination than non-copper equivalents, and a multi-site clinical trial in the US also demonstrated a corresponding 58% reduction in a patient's risk of acquiring an infection. Working together with regular surface cleaning and good hand hygiene, antimicrobial copper contributes to a safer and healthier environment in hospitals and other areas where the spread of infection is a concern.

For more information on antimicrobial copper, visit www.antimicrobialcopper.org.

 

For further information and high-resolution images, contact:

Bryony Samuel
Communications Officer
Copper Development Association
bryony.samuel@copperalliance.org.uk

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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