Centre Hospitalier de Rambouillet, France
The Centre Hospitalier de Rambouillet, in the Parisian region, is the first hospital in France to install antimicrobial copper touch surfaces to fight pathogens and reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) for its patients.
Bed rails, trolleys, taps, handrails, door handles and push
plates made of copper and copper alloys have been fitted in the
intensive care and paediatric units. Antimicrobial copper
touch surfaces are proven capable of continuously eliminating
bacteria, viruses and fungi - including MRSA, C. difficile
and Influenza A - 24/7, from clinical environments.
Rambouillet's Director, Jean-Pierre Richard, says: "Based on 15
years of scientific research carried out in laboratories and in
hospitals that demonstrates copper's antimicrobial properties, we
decided to equip our intensive care and paediatric units
accordingly. We decided to affect a proactive risk prevention
policy by using innovative materials that will have no impact on
the way the medical staff work. The main purpose of this
operation is to improve the well-being and safety of our
Dr Patrick Pina, Head of Rambouillet Hospital's hygiene
department, says of the measure: "Being confronted with germs and
bacteria that are more and more resistant to antibiotic treatment
means that disease prevention is now a priority for us. It is
crucial for units like intensive care and paediatrics to take
measures to prevent any propagation of pathogens that might lead to
an epidemic among patients who are particularly vulnerable."
Dr Pina is responsible for assessing the impact of this
infection prevention measure on the rate of HCAIs in the hospital,
and data generated will be used to inform the French Ministry of
Health's evaluation of adoption of antimicrobial copper surfaces in
He adds: "The assessment protocol we have developed will enable
us to determine whether copper can play a central role in the
prevention of infections in hospital. We hope our results
will be as promising as the ones obtained in the United
Last July, Professor Michael Schmidt of the Medical University
of South Carolina presented at ICPIC, in Geneva, on the initial
results1 of a study carried out in three American
hospitals, revealing that replacing just six key touch surfaces
with antimicrobial copper equivalents reduced patients' risk of
acquiring a healthcare-associated infections by over 40%.
Director Jean-Pierre Richard explains: "There is growing
evidence that the environment has a significant role to play in the
transmission of infection, and alongside standard hygiene practices
such as systematic hand washing, copper touch surfaces help to
considerably reduce microbial contamination. Antimicrobial
copper works as a supplement to standard infection prevention
measures, working to reduce surface contamination in between cleans
where non-copper surfaces will harbour bacteria and viruses until
they are next cleaned."
Claude Rambaud, Chairwoman of the Lien - a patients' association
- notes: "Every year, nosocomial diseases kill 3,500 people who go
for treatment in French hospitals. This figure is comparable
to the annual number of road accident victims! To summarise,
the fight against these infections must be a cause for national
mobilisation. If the results of the French study are
conclusive, as has been the case with every study carried out thus
far in hospitals around the world, we must take them into account
and ensure copper is seen as a serious way of improving policies
aimed at reducing risks in hospitals."
1 "Copper Surfaces in the ICU Reduced the Relative
Risk of Acquiring an Infection While Hospitalized", Dr M. G.
Schmidt, International Conference on Prevention and Infection
Control, July 1st 13:00, Innovative Approaches to Infection Control
here for more information.
About the Cu+ Mark
All the copper components at Rambouillet bear the Cu+ mark,
which denotes they are made from copper or copper alloys
(collectively referred to as 'antimicrobial copper') with proven
antimicrobial efficacy, backed by solid scientific evidence that
can be reviewed on www.antimicrobialcopper.org.
The use of the Cu+ mark by an organisation indicates that a
copper centre, on behalf of the International Copper Association,
has granted permission to do so based upon adherence to strict
usage rules. These rules guide that organisation's
understanding of the underlying technology and the way they
promote, advise and deploy it in line with existing research,
regulatory and legislative requirements.
About Centre hospitalier de Rambouillet
Centre hospitalier de Rambouillet is a public hospital
in the Sud-Yvelines area, near Paris, which is recognised at
regional level. Although it is a local hospital, it also
cares for patients who live in neighbouring regions, such as
Eure-et-Loir. It is located at the heart of the town, but has
a catchment area including a population of over 300,000
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