Sentara Healthcare Implements Copper-Infused Linens at Third Hospital

Beginning Nov. 2, 2014, patients and visitors at Sentara CarePlex Hospital in Hampton, Va. started seeing salmon-hued bed linens, gowns and towels, but it has nothing to do with the latest fashion trend. Building on its launch of the world’s largest clinical trial of copper-infused textiles and hard surfaces, Sentara Healthcare is expanding the study to a third hospital by converting all linens at Sentara CarePlex to ones infused with copper.

The test materials – bed linens, patient gowns and towels - are supplied by Richmond, VA.-based Cupron®, Inc. Cupron also provided the linens used in the ongoing studies at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and Sentara Leigh Hospital in Norfolk. Sentara Leigh Hospital additionally has implemented copper-infused, self-sanitizing hard surfaces from Cupron partner, Norfolk, Va.-based EOS Surfaces.

“Sentara is pleased to continue deploying these advanced antimicrobial materials into our in-patient facilities,” says Dr. Gene Burke, vice president of clinical effectiveness for Sentara. “While the studies at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and Sentara Leigh Hospital are still ongoing, we’ve seen enough progress that we felt it warranted further analysis.”

The use of copper-infused textiles at Sentara CarePlex Hospital will be part of an evaluation to compare the impact of Cupron linens on hospital acquired infections (HAIs) and antibiotic usage. Cupron discovered ways to isolate copper particles that can be stabilized and embedded in a variety of materials. Copper-enhanced socks, produced by Cupron, gained distinction during the 2010 Chilean mining incident, a 63-day ordeal during which 33 miners were trapped underground in wet and humid conditions. Upon rescue, the miners credited the Cupron socks they were provided with the excellent condition of their feet.

“I’m thrilled to welcome this innovative product into our hospital,” says Debra Flores, president of Sentara CarePlex Hospital. “Adding Sentara CarePlex to this revolutionary pilot study of copper-infused materials demonstrates our organization’s commitment to patient safety and quality care.”

The use of Cupron linens is a supplemental layer of protection and not a substitute for standard infection control practices. Sentara employees will continue to follow all current infection control practices, including cleaning and disinfection of all environmental surfaces and textiles.

In April, 2015, Sentara Leigh Hospital’s West Tower will open completely outfitted with copper-infused materials from Cupron and EOS Surfaces, including countertops, over-the-bed tables, bed rails, and textiles ranging from bed linens to patients gowns. The opening of the West Tower will result in all 250 of the hospital’s patient rooms serving as copper-infused test studies.

Sentara has received national recognition for its efforts to improve patient care and reduce infections. Reducing length of stay, readmissions and mortality rates, especially in the areas of heart failure, pneumonia and sepsis, are a prime focus for Sentara Healthcare. National quality leaders such as VHA have blueprinted Sentara practices at reducing, and in some cases, eliminating ventilator-associated pneumonia. In addition, Sentara hospitals have been recognized for their work in ICUs to reduce central line blood stream infections and urinary tract infections.

Source: Sentara Healthcare, Cupron Inc.

*Testing demonstrates effective antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 6538), Enterobacter aerogenes (ATCC 13048), Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA-ATCC 33592), Escherichia coli O157:H7 (ATCC 35150) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (ATCC 15442).

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