Contact Killers

The benefits of copper-infused hospital products. 

Photos by Jeff Saxman

Cupron’s salmon-colored hospital linens stand out from the white-cotton crowd. But they also differ because they are embedded with copper—a natural antimicrobial.

“Patients are continuously shedding microbes [which can contain bacteria or viruses] into their environment—onto the gowns and their immediate surroundings. Studies show that these areas are the most contaminated surfaces in the hospital room,” says Jason Ellis, senior vice president of medical textiles for Henrico-based Cupron. “So, we started with the hypothesis that if we could surround the patient with surfaces that are constantly knocking down the bioburden [the number of bacteria living on a surface], could we show a reduction in hospital-acquired infections?”

Yes, according to a recent study by six Sentara Hospitals in Virginia and North Carolina that showed significant reductions in the rates of infection when the company’s EPA-registered copper antimicrobial bed linens and patient gowns were used—up to 61.19 percent for C. diff and up to 59.8 percent for C. diff and multi-drug resistant organisms. 

The products include salmon-colored blankets, sheets, pillowcases, washcloths, and towels, as well as blue patterned hospital gowns. The antimicrobial copper is embedded early in the manufacturing process and does not wash or wear away for the life of the product. Cupron.com


This article originally appeared in our December 2019 issue.

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