Clinics promoting copper innovations to sustain health

The Copper Development Association (CDA) is organising surgeries in Central London, commencing in July, which aim to raise awareness about ways to incorporate copper in health care designs to reduce risks of bacterial infection for patients.

Copper has been known to help lifestyles for centuries. The mighty Maasai warriors in Sub Saharan Africa are aware that copper helps in treating arthritis, which is evidently one of the high-risk ailments in the tall tribe; it is involved in the formation of red blood cells, the absorption and utilisation of iron and the synthesis and release of essential proteins and enzymes. Copper is known to stimulate the immune system, repair injured tissues and promote healing.

"Copper has got a great attribute, that is, apart from the fact that it kills bugs. It has a great febricity and that means you can make it into all sorts of things. You can cast it into a complicated shape like a tap, then machine complex geometry into it very easily" says Antimicrobial Product Development consultant Mark Tur, who has been working with manufacturers for the last three years to supply the copper alloy components to the trial.

The Selly Oak clinical trial results, announced at an international infection control conference last October, showed that copper surfaces had 90-100% fewer microorganisms on them compared to standard products. Professor Tom Elliot, trial leader, Consultant Microbiologist and Deputy Medical director at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, has stated that the findings indicate that copper surfaces decrease real-world contamination and maybe useful in the fight against healthcare-associated infections.

CDA Director, Angela Vessey has stated that the manufacturers who provided components for the Selly Oak trial are now gearing up to supply products such as door handles, taps and other lavatory fittings, which could incorporate copper to provide a "whole ward solution".

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Tehreem Aidrus

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