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Coppered ward in MRSA trial

Fittings made of copper are being installed in a general medical ward at Selly Oak Hospital to test copper’s antimicrobial properties in a healthcare setting.

The 18-month clinical trial seeks to establish whether the installation of copper surfaces will help in the fight against MRSA and other healthcare-acquired infections.

Because 80% of MRSA transmission is through surface contacts, stainless steel door handles and push-plates, a Selly Oak Hospital ward are replacing these, along with bathroom taps, toilet flush-handles and grab rails, with copper. Even the pens used by staff will be made of high-copper brass.

A similar neighbouring ward will retain its traditional metal fittings and will act as a control in the experiment.