Copper Study Links Reduced Bioburden on Surfaces to Reduction in Infection Rates
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – OCTOBER 20, 2011 – Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center have presented results of a study, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, that links a reduction in environmental bioburden with lower rates of hospital acquired infections (HAIs).
The study, entitled, “Copper Surfaces (CuS) Significantly Lower Rate of Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU),” reinforces a widely held view that reducing levels of contamination on environmental surfaces can have a positive impact on patient outcomes. Each year, HAIs claim more American lives than HIV and auto accidents combined, and afflict nearly one in 20 people who spend the night in a U.S. hospital.
“We’d like to congratulate these researchers for their important work,” said Kathryn Bowsher, President and CEO, PurThread Technologies, Inc. “We share their concern about the impact of contaminated, frequently-touched surfaces on the risk of infection. Although healthcare workers have made tremendous strides in improving hand hygiene, it has to be recognized that potentially pathogenic organisms are endemic in any hospital environment. As a result, providing surfaces that effectively reduce the presence of these organisms may be an essential element of today’s infection prevention strategies.”
While the study presented today focused on important hard surfaces such as bed rails, IV poles, and overbed hospital tables, these objects make up only a portion of the overall patient environment. Soft surfaces, such as privacy curtains, bedding, and scrubs, can frequently be reservoirs of potential pathogens. Researchers at the University of Iowa, in a recent study supported by a grant from PurThread Technologies, reported that within a week of being laundered, 92 percent of hospital privacy curtains studied were contaminated with potentially pathogenic bacteria such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant S. aureus) and VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococcus).
In today’s world of evidence-based medical care and constrained budgets, peer reviewed, published clinical data are critical to effective decision making and resource allocation.
“The study presented today, combined with the reports from the University of Iowa, offer glimpses of what is happening in the clinical environment – not in the petri dish, and both studies demonstrate the need for interventions to reduce bacterial contamination of surfaces in hospital settings,” Bowsher added.
“Combatting HAIs is a multi-layered process. For our part, PurThread is working to reduce contamination in the patient environment by developing textile products, such as privacy curtains, that incorporate our proprietary antimicrobial technology. Today’s information validates our development direction.”
PurThread Technologies Inc. employs proprietary, award-winning technology to embed Kodak’s powerful EPA-registered antimicrobial silver into the core of fiber. As a result, PurThread yarns intrinsically protect fabric from the effects of microbial contamination and reduce odor-causing bacteria, mold, mildew and fungus. Products made with PurThread range from healthcare textiles, such as privacy curtains, scrubs and lab coats, to freshness products, such as socks and performance athletic wear. The EPA has not yet reviewed any public health claims for PurThread products. PurThread yarns are 100% Made in the USA.
For more information, visit www.purthread.com.