Jackson, MI (Vocus) July 27, 2009
Midbrook, a Jackson, MI based medical manufacturer of cleaning and decontamination systems as well as case carts and storage cabinets has begun to use copper alloys as an alternative to stainless steel for their exterior work surfaces.
Midbrook originally became interested in the use of copper through their association with officials from the Copper Development Authority (CDA) whom they met at the Association for Professionals in Infection Control (APIC) conference in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The CDA has directed extensive research to confirm the antimicrobial properties of copper. The results of this research have enabled the CDA member organizations to register multiple copper alloys with the EPA as antimicrobial surfaces.
A clean copper surface is capable of killing 99.9% of bacteria exposed to the surface within 2 hours from time of initial exposure. These studies have confirmed works surfaces made with copper alloy material kill forms of hospital acquired infections such as MRSA and C diff.
Copper can be used in many applications around a medical facility. It can be cut and formed similar to stainless steel, allowing construction of copper tables, carts, and cabinetry. Any place where stainless steel or plastic laminate materials are found today in a hospital is a potential application for copper.
“We think that copper can be a great replacement for many stainless steel and laminate products in the future,” said Midbrook Business Development Director James Crowley.
“There will always be a market for traditional stainless steel products, but we believe that copper will be a growing market,” added Crowley. “The research is too compelling to ignore for many people.”
Midbrook will offer multiple copper products for medical use. They plan to incorporate copper into the designs of their customizable case carts – constructing specified components of the case cart from copper or entire carts, if desired. Midbrook will also offer copper cabinetry and solid surfaces, in addition to their antimicrobial line of Corian® cabinetry, scrub sinks, and solid surfaces.
Copper offers hospital architects and infection control workers an alternative to particle board laminate surfaces in their facilities. The old particle board laminate surfaces harbor bacteria and create a breeding ground for potential Hospital Acquired Infections, which can cost facilities a great deal of money. Even stainless steel, while better than particle board materials, enable growth of bacteria. Copper is an alternative that will allow hospitals to control the spread of bacteria and limits their financial exposure to the cost associated with treating a hospital acquired infection.