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UCLA study to determine if copper surfaces can reduce hospital-acquired infections
Date:7/9/2012

tcomes and even lower costs," said the project's principal investigator, Dr. Daniel Uslan, director of the antimicrobial stewardship program at the Geffen School of Medicine and an assistant clinical professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases.

Additional environmental microbiologic studies and evaluations of surface cleaning will be included in the research, as well as a detailed costbenefit analysis.

Dr. Peter Sinsheimer, executive director of the UCLA Sustainable Technology and Policy Program, a joint initiative of the Fielding School of Public Health and the UCLA School of Law, helped arrange the interdisciplinary collaborations.

"Being at UCLA makes it easy to pull together diverse teams of top-flight scientists to conduct such important prevention-based research," said Sinsheimer, whose program focuses on primary health prevention through materials substitution.

The initial idea for the hospital-based study came from Sinsheimer's research on the viability of alternatives to lead-based copper piping in delivering safer drinking water.

Hospital surfaces selected for the study will include bed rails, chairs, a bedside table that can also be positioned on top of the bed, and a mobile treatment cart-top used by nursing staff that includes handles, a keyboard and a mouse.

A team at UCLA Engineering will assist with the testing of the copper and other surfaces used in the clinical trial.

"We will be incorporating copper, plastic or sham stainless steel materials into the selected everyday surfaces used by patients and staff in the hospital," said Vijay Gupta, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

The cost-effectiveness analysis will be conducted by Dr. Gerald Kominski, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and a professor in the department of health policy and management at the Fielding School of Public Health.

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Contact: Rachel Champeau
rchampeau@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2270
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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