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Copper Eliminates Resistant Hospital Germs in a Worldwide Field Test
Date:8/22/2008

HAMBURG, Germany, August 22 /PRNewswire/ --

- Dangerous Bacteria Infect Three Million People in Europe Every Year

Sometimes something well-tried can also be innovative: already in Ancient Greece, copper was considered to be very antimicrobial. This ability is now playing an important role in the struggle against dangerous hospital germs. In a worldwide noted field test, a whole hospital ward at the Asklepios Clinic in Wandsbek in Hamburg, Germany, was equipped with door handles, door plates and light switches made of copper. Because the germs are not only transmitted from one hand to another but, in many cases, also by touching door handles and switches. At the moment, scientists at the University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, are evaluating the samples of the first study phase. As a result, the Asklepios Clinic Wandsbek becomes the pioneer in this clinical research in Europe.

The main opponents are dangerous, antibiotic-resistant bacteria (MRSA), with which more and more patients worldwide fall ill in clinics and nursing homes. Classical sanitary measures are often insufficient to prevent a further spreading. According to the clinic and the involved scientists at the University Halle-Wittenberg, the first study results have shown "significantly less chances of survival" of microbes on copper surfaces, which is why the field test will be continued in the second half of the year. A complete evaluation is expected by early 2009.

Worldwide race against time

"The struggle against high-resistant agents cannot be won with the previous means, such as the use of new antibiotics and intensive disinfection measures. We must break new grounds in order to reduce the potential danger for our patients," Professor Prof. Dr. med. Jorg Braun, chief physician of the I. Medical Department at the Asklepios Clinic Wandsbek explains the motives for the field test. "Scientific tests performed by several independent working groups have shown beyond do
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SOURCE Asklepios Kliniken
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