Using Copper Equipment in the Healthcare Setting

Jeff Boyd, PhD, assistant professor of Biochemistry and Microbiology at Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, examines the effectiveness of using copper in healthcare facilities.

Jeff Boyd, PhD, assistant professor of Biochemistry and Microbiology at Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, examines the effectiveness of using copper in healthcare facilities.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“Would it still be a good idea to use copper in the healthcare setting or to treat water? Absolutely; I think it would be. Although these mechanisms do prolong survival on copper surfaces, ultimately, the organisms, at least in the literature that I’ve seen and the experiments that my lab has done, do succumb to copper intoxication; they still do die.

I think that using things like metal fins, on cooling stacks to prevent Listeria outbreaks, [or] copper bed rails in a hospital, would be a good use of money, and a good investment. So far, it’s appeared to be effective, at least in the limited clinical studies that have been done, in preventing [Staphylococcus] aureus outbreaks in hospitals, or at least maybe curbing the potential detriment of having a Staph aureus outbreak in the healthcare setting.”