Grinnell Regional Medical Center (GRMC) is engaged with Olin Brass in a comprehensive clinical trial to test the impact of Olin Brass' CuVerro® solid copper alloy products. CuVerro is a bactericidal touch surface that kills 99.9 percent of bacteria* within two hours of contact. As an EPA-registered copper alloy surface, the properties of CuVerro® have been proven effective 24/7-continuously killing infectious bacteria.* Because CuVerro® is a copper alloy, its properties never wash out or wear away, a significant factor in creating cleaner healthcare environments. GRMC and CuVerro are conducting this study in an effort to reduce bacteria that cause infections and dramatically improve the hygiene of the patient environment.
"Our primary interest is to see what can be done to help in the reduction of bacteria that cause hospital acquired infections," says Todd Linden, GRMC president and CEO. "We want to build on our long history of focusing on patient safety. Past impressive studies have shown the effectiveness of CuVerro copper alloys in reducing bacteria load. With CuVerro we want to see how far we can take this at GRMC. This is important for so many reasons, from reducing bacteria that cause potentially life-threatening illnesses to ensuring that patients don't have to be readmitted after a hospital stay."
Researchers completed baseline bacteria level testing in GRMC's medical surgical unit last month. With installation of a range of CuVerro surfaces to be complete by November, bioload testing on the CuVerro surface products will conclude early next year.
CuVerro touch surface products are being installed in about half of the patient rooms in the GRMC med-surg unit. Products that are being installed include door levers, wall switches and outlet covers, IV poles, drawer and cabinet pulls, grab bars, automatic push plates, over-bed tables, computer keyboards, sinks, faucets, soap and alcohol dispensers, and toilet flush levers.
CuVerro surface products are being supplied by equipment manufacturers who have incorporated CuVerro materials in their respective products, including Eaton, Rocky Mountain Hardware, Midbrook Medical, Pedigo Products, Colonial Bronze, Elkay, Just Manufacturing, Larco, Trimco, Tubular Specialties Manufacturing, Frigo Design, Mr. Label, Operator Interface Technology, American Standard Brands, and Sloan Valve.
Dr. Michael Schmidt, professor and vice-chairman of microbiology and immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina, and Dr. Shannon Hinsa-Leasure, associate professor and chair of biology at Grinnell College, are leading the testing efforts.
"This study will allow us to see firsthand how well this works," Linden says. "Our long-term vision is to see CuVerro copper alloy touch surfaces incorporated throughout our institution, our community, and beyond. For example, we are introducing CuVerro touch surface in free weights at the unveiling of GRMC's state-of-the-art Paul W. Ahrens Fitness Center." Black Iron Strength manufactures a product line of weights and fitness equipment with CuVerro bactericidal gripping surfaces.
"We will always need to wash our hands, clean and disinfect surfaces, and protect ourselves with alcohol gels. What we hope to learn from this study is that CuVerro is one more very important tool in our arsenal to reduce the bacteria that cause infections and the spread of germs," Linden says.
*Laboratory testing shows that, when cleaned regularly, CuVerro surfaces kill greater than 99.9 percent of the following bacteria within two hours of exposure: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, E. coli O157:H7, and Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE).The use of CuVerro® antimicrobial copper products is a supplement to and not a substitute for standard infection control practices; users must continue to follow all current infection control practices, including those practices related to cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces. This surface has been shown to reduce microbial contamination, but it does not necessarily prevent cross contamination.
GRMC is a private, non-profit and non-tax supported medical center, serving more than 40,000 residents in a six-county rural area of east central Iowa. A 49-bed hospital with 50 physicians and allied healthcare professionals, 400 employees, and more than 300 volunteers, GRMC provides an array of services from birth to end-of-life.
CuVerro is manufactured by GBC Metals, LLC, doing business as Olin Brass, a wholly owned subsidiary of Global Brass and Copper, Inc. which is a subsidiary of Global Brass and Copper Holdings, Inc.
Source: Olin Brass