Empty Bed On Hospital Ward

Infections in hospitals — both those that patients come in with and those they acquire during their stay — are a big issue. Hospital acquired infections (HAIs) are a particular concern for healthcare facilities due to the costly havoc they can quickly cause. Now newly released research is suggesting these issues could possibly be mitigated by a change to hospital bedding.

Applied and Environmental Microbiology published a new study that states copper hospital beds in intensive care units carry, on average, 95 percent less bacteria than beds traditionally found in hospitals, reports Courthouse News Service. Since hospital acquired infections impact millions of Americans, and kill almost 100,000 annually, the implementation of these beds in hospital settings could prove to be very valuable.

Researchers came to their findings by comparing samples form ICU beds featuring copper rails, footboards and bed controls to hospital beds comprised of plastic materials. An examination of the samples demonstrated that 90 percent of the bacteria found on the beds with plastic features had a dangerous amount of bacteria. 

One of the researchers says the study’s findings show that antimicrobial copper beds can be an asset to infection control workers in hospitals because they can make it easier to keep surfaces hygienic between cleanings, thus making an infection less likely, reports Courthouse News Service.

The hospital bed is just one of many soft surfaces in a patient’s room that require more attention from staff. This article from Sanitary Maintenance discusses the issue with sanitizing soft surfaces, as well as alternatives to disinfecting these surfaces.