If a person is hospitalized today, they have a 1 in 20 chance of acquiring an infection – of those who acquire an infection there is a 1 in 20 chance of dying from that infection. 4.5% of hospitalized patients develop healthcare acquired infections, annually. In the US, Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI’s) claim the lives of 100,000 people each year. Resistant pathogens require expensive drugs, extended hospital stays and readmissions increasing healthcare costs by as much as $45 billion a year.
Copper is essential to the development of all forms of life and is naturally present in the earth’s crust. It is the oldest metal used by man. Microbes were not understood until the 19th century, but copper’s hygienic properties were well known through experience and tradition. The Egyptians, Romans, Aztecs and the Greeks (Hippocrates himself) used copper as a sterilization agent for drinking water, treatment of wounds, boils, eye infections and venereal ulcers. Today, copper is an active ingredient in many different types of antimicrobial products: fungicides, antifouling paints, antimicrobial medicines, oral hygiene products, hygienic medical devices, and antiseptics.