Call Buttons and Chairs in Hospitals are Teeming With Superbugs

by Rajashri on Oct 30 2008 4:49 PM

Objects closest to patients have the highest level of hospital superbugs that often lead to potentially fatal infections, new research has indicated.

The researchers found that object in the closest proximity to the patients such as bed rails, call buttons and chairs were found to have the highest levels of staphylococcus, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE).

These pathogens can survive for extended periods of time on such objects, which act as reservoirs for the bacteria.

The researchers are now conducting further on objects made of microbiocidal copper, where they sought to determine the effectiveness of copper at combating hospital-acquired infections.

Studies have shown that copper, brass and bronze are more than 99.9 percent effective in killing potentially deadly pathogens, such as MRSA, which are commonly found in healthcare facilities.

A similar clinical trial is also being conducted at Selly Oak Hospital, University Hospital Birmingham in the U.K. Results from this trial that showed 90-95 percent reduction in contamination on copper alloy surfaces compared to the controls.

The study was presented at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) in Washington, D.C.