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

ubt that copper surfaces can efficiently kill bacteria and other germs," Prof. Dr. Dietrich H. Nies, Director of the Institute for Biology at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, also confirms.

With its field test (two times eight weeks with weekly periodic sampling), the Asklepios Clinic Wandsbeck is involved in a worldwide study program. Comparable studies under clinical conditions are planned or are being performed at the same time in Great Britain, South Africa, the US and Japan. In Wandsbek, samples from door handles, door plates and light switches were collected during the last weeks: both from common surfaces, e.g. made of stainless steel, and from surfaces with cooper alloys. Experience has shown that door handles and light switches are the most frequent surfaces of transmission.

50,000 casualties in Europe alone every year

According to serious estimates, more than half a million of such nosocomial infections - i.e. caught in the clinic - occur every year, in German hospitals alone. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), there are three million cases all over Europe, of which 50,000 are fatal. Antibiotic-resistant germs like MRSA (MRSA stands for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) present a particularly high danger in this context.

In addition to the partly life-threatening danger for the patients, there is also an enormous economic damage which might amount to billions in Germany alone. For the US, there is an estimate by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), according to which nosocomial infections incur costs of more than 4.5 billion US dollars. In Great Britain, the National Health Service (NHS) estimates the additional costs at one billion pounds sterling every year. According to estimates, patients who contract MRSA in the clinic stay in sickbed up to four days longer on average and incur additional costs to the amount of 4,000 Euro, in individual cases even u
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SOURCE Asklepios Kliniken
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