A recent study published in the journal of the American Society for Microbiology, Applied and Environmental Microbiology concluded that copper beds in ICUs harboured 95 percent fewer bad bacteria than the regular beds.
What’s more, they kept this low-risk throughout the patients’ hospital stay. Could they be the key to the reduction of hospital bed infections?
Unfortunately, hospital infections cause disease in around 2 million American citizens on a yearly basis and kill almost 100,000 of them. Believe it or not, these infections are the 8th major reason for death in the US.
Why Are Current Hospital Beds so Dangerous?
Without doubt, the beds in hospitals are one of the most contaminated surfaces in patient care. Despite efforts of cleaning services, they’re usually not cleaned sufficiently or well enough.
But, copper beds may be able to improve things and reduce bed infections. Namely, copper beds have long been known to avert and destroy bad bacteria; however, they haven’t been commercially available yet.
Beds with copper surface were discovered to contain 94 percent fewer bad bacteria than conventional beds in hospitals that usually have plastic.
Copper’s Antimicrobial Power
The antimicrobial characteristics of copper aren’t new- they’ve been known since ancient Ayurveda when water for drinking was kept in copper vessels to prevent disease. Ayurveda is among the oldest holistic healing systems in the world.
Even though there have been several studies proving copper’s power against bacteria, few if any hospitals have included copper beds.
The research team, on the basis of previously-made trials, created a fully encapsulated copper bed.
They needed to convince manufacturers that the risk was worthwhile. The scientists compared the footboards, rails, and controls of regular hospital beds and that of copper beds.
Almost 90 percent of the samples from the plastic beds had levels of bad bacteria exceeding the safe levels.
On the other hand, copper beds can lower the risk of bacterial infections in healthcare as they had fewer microbes, but also kept safe levels throughout the patients’ entire stay in the hospital.