First Peruvian hospital upgrades to copper touch surfaces

Antimicrobial touch surfaces aid infection control

San Juan de Dios Hospital in Arequipa has become the first healthcare facility in Peru to install antimicrobial copper touch surfaces as an additional infection prevention measure.

Part of Peru’s San Juan de Dios Hospital Network – and the international Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God, which operates in 51 countries – the facility provides 24-hour emergency care to the local area and has 37 medical specialities spanning adult and paediatric care.

Antimicrobial copper items – including door furniture, dressings trolleys, grab rails, IV poles and mobile instrument stands – have been installed in its intensive care units as part of a suite of infection control measures aimed at enhancing patient safety.

Pedro Alcazar, medical head of San Juan de Dios, said: “The efficiency of copper items demonstrated in studies carried out in the USA and around the world are very positive, and we are delighted to be the first facility in Peru to protect the health of our patients with antimicrobial copper. It is an additional infection prevention measure.”

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.

The items installed at San Juan de Dios will be monitored by in-house microbiologists to ascertain the exact reduction in bacterial contamination versus non-copper equivalents.

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