Copper study: conducting the trial

Copper study: conducting the trial


So just explain a bit of the nuts and
bolts of how this trial was done How long it lasted and and how you carried it out. We’ve been planning the trial for about a year now And we’ve carried out a pilot study, whereby we had a few items made by local manufacturers And we had these installed on the ward and the first question we asked was If, for example, we had a pair of taps put put onto a sink Would this reduce down the numbers of
organisms present in that environment So we carried out a pilot study using
various itemsmade out of copper And we demonstrated that there was a
reduction And this meant to us that it was worth while continuing to do a proper controlled study to see whether or not copper actually will continue to have this
activity over a period of time So what we then planned was to do what
we call a crossover study This is a study whereby you have items
made of copper, and you compare them to items which are made of standard
products. For example it could be a chrome plated tap It could be a pushplate made out of plastic or aluminium Or it could be a grab rail, made of chrome, again So what we did was we compared copper items to none copper items on a busy medical ward And after a period of time – five weeks we then changed the items round So the copper was changed to the chrome the copper push plates were changed the the plastic push plates, etc. And what we did was we sampled these areas every week. Twice during one particular
day, first thing in the morning, at 7 AM Before any cleaning took place on the
ward – regular cleaning after the overnight period and then after a busy day we sampled again at 5/6 at night to see whether or not there was a change in the
numbers of organisms on the surfaces the sampling that we took included taking swaps and this is what we use on swabbing
patients, for example, so when we’re swabbing wounds etc. we use the same
technology so we swabbed these surfaces, a defined
area and the swabs were then put into
various, what we call “culture media” to grow the organisms and in fact we used a whole array of culture media, we used up to seven different media to identify any bacteria, and funghi which may have been present on those
surfaces related to either the copper items or the non-copper items We then counted the numbers of organisms present on those surfaces and compared the copper versus non-copper We did this over a ten week period so, five weeks before we changed over And the reason why we change over is to overcome what we call “bias” It may be, for example, that one sink is used more frequently than another sink one toilet is used more frequently than another toilet. So by doing this unique crossover study we are able to take-out
that bias and to assure ourselves if there was an effect we would actually to determine it by this
study We looked at the results and we analyse
results after this ten week period and we carried out statistical analysis on the results which included the numbers of organisms
per unit area of each of the devices and then we applied conventional
statistical analysis to ask the question Was any difference between the two samples and was it significant? And the results which we are presenting
in America next week at the International congress of antimicrobial agents chemotherapy Probably the premier worldwide meeting
on infectious diseases microbiology that we will be telling individuals at that meeting, over ten thousand people attending We’ll be telling the audience that the copper resulted in a significant reduction in the numbers of organisms on those
surfaces compared to a standard product And this was despite absolute scrupulous cleaning on the
ward Now the reason why we get organisms on
surfaces and you cannot keep surfaces completely sterile all the time is because we’re touching them We’ve got environmental contamination and everybody realizes that. But the copper I would suggest it has appeared to be
what we call an “intelligent metal” Whereby it’s augmenting, already, good cleaning processes. The results are the first time I’ve ever seen a result with the finding showing that environmental contamination is greatly reduced

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