Evangelisches Geriatriezentrum (EGZB), Germany
Evangelisches Geriatriezentrum Berlin (EGZB) is Germany’s largest
geriatric facility, with around 200 beds, and elected to specify
antimicrobial copper door furniture throughout to augment its
infection prevention procedures. The touch surfaces rapidly and
completely kill bacteria and viruses that settle on them, reducing the
risk of infections being passed between patients, staff and visitors.
Why the MD Chose Antimicrobial Copper
Dr Thomas Krössin, Managing Director of EGZB and the driving
force behind the installation, explained why he chose copper,
saying: 'The fight against multi-resistant strains of bacteria is
one we will never win, but that is precisely why we must constantly
rethink our strategies. Copper alloys are an interesting innovation
in this area and complement standard hygiene strategies.'
Each year in Germany, up to 600,000 patients catch
healthcare-associated infections and, despite the measures put in
place so far, between 7,500 and 15,000 people die as a result.
Patients with a weak immune system, such as new-born babies,
intensive care patients, the chronically ill and the elderly are
particularly at risk.
'Our weapons in the fight against nosocomial infections are
becoming ever weaker as resistance to antibiotics grows,' Professor
Martin Exner, Director of the Institute for Hygiene and Public
Health at the University of Bonn and President of the German
Society for Hospital Hygiene, has warned. 'That is why nosocomial
infections pose one of the greatest medical challenges of the
future for the whole of Europe.'
An Additional Strategy for Infection
Experts have called for a multidimensional approach to infection
control, and an increasing number of German hospitals - for example
in Berlin, Hagen and Hamburg - have joined hospitals worldwide in
using copper for touch surfaces such as door handles and light
'Conventional hygiene strategies such as washing your hands more
often and more thoroughly will not be enough in the future,'
Professor Exner continued. 'They must be supplemented by additional
strategies. Potential transmission channels for nosocomial
infections in patient environments must also be kept under control.
Copper can play an important part in this process.'
EGZB's installation is the largest-scale deployment of
antimicrobial copper in healthcare to date, and joins a growing
portfolio of installations in the UK and worldwide where copper
plays a significant role in infection control.
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