RID to Honor EOS Surfaces with Ignaz Semmelweis Award

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Prize for germ-fighting technological innovation to firm making copper-infused surfaces that that helped slash infection rates

The Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths announced today that its prestigious Ignaz Semmelweis award would go to EOS Surfaces, the Coastal Virginia-based firm whose copper-infused technology, EOSCU, has significantly reduced hospital infections.

“RID’s Semmelweis award is designed to salute innovators who are developing and applying new technology to combat the scourge of deadly hospital infections,” said Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D., RID’s Chairman and Founder “EOS more than meets those criteria.”

In one clinical study, published in a leading medical journal, EOS’s technology was found to cut deadly infections by drug-resistant germs by 78%. McCaughey explains that as long as hospital surfaces such as tables, bedrails and keyboards are heavily contaminated with germs, doctors' and nurses' hands will become contaminated and then transmit the germs to patients. EOS makes retro-fit bedrails, patient overbed tables, sinks, vanities, and countertops impregnated with copper. The surface continuously kills deadly pathogens, including the multi-drug resistant MRSA, ensuring that the frequently touched surfaces remain at a benign level.

“On behalf of everyone here at EOS we are humbled and deeply honored to receive this award,” said Ken Trinder, founder of EOS. “It means a great deal to us to be recognized by those who are so committed to this cause.”

Trinder added that EOS “waited a long time for the collection of data now available to us, but we purposely chose to remain focused and allow independent evidence to determine the potential of our surfaces. We knew the bar was set high by the scientific and healthcare communities and we were committed to that process.”

RID will honor Trinder and EOS at a special event soon in New York City.


In the mid-nineteenth century, when women were dying in childbirth in the obstetrics clinic in Vienna, physician Ignaz Semmelweis figured out what was causing their deaths. Obstetricians with unclean hands and instruments were infecting the women. Semmelweis adamantly warned the medical establishment about the importance of hygiene. Sadly, he was ahead of his time. His insistence on hygiene was ignored, and he was ridiculed and drummed out of the medical establishment. It would take another forty years for Louis Pasteur to develop the germ theory of disease. Now we honor Semmelweis for his prescient understanding of the importance of hospital hygiene, and his daring to challenge the established science of his time.

That is the meaning of the Semmelweis Award. It goes to daring innovators, willing to challenge the prevailing knowledge of the time in the cause of safer medical care.

For the past 14 years, RID has promoted the life-saving steps of cleaning and screening to prevent deadly and costly hospital-acquired infections (HAI’s.) A stringent cleaning protocol in hospitals and screening patients for superbugs before being admitted to the hospital can drastically reduce a patient’s risk of contracting an HAI.


2017: Our second award honored Evan Jones, Chairman of OpGen, for his pioneering role in making a rapid test that will identify multi-drug resistant infections without waiting days for cultures to grow. This innovation promises to be life saving. Screening patients rapidly to identify those carrying drug-resistant superbugs will help save their lives and protect other patients as well.

2015: Our first award honored James D. Lee, P.E. developer of dilute hydrogen peroxide technology, which can continuously rid hospital rooms of dangerous bacteria, viruses, and fungi with no toxicity to patients. The technology operates 24/7 while patients are in the room, enabling affordable, thorough cleaning. Pilot programs prove it can reduce infection rates by up to 70%.

More information about RID’s Semmelweis award can be found here: hospitalinfection.org/annual-ignaz-semmelweis-award

More information about RID can be found at hospitalinfection.org


EOS Surfaces, LLC is a medical technology developer and manufacturer in Norfolk, VA. The company has developed novel and proprietary processes for embedding biocidal, essential metals into different polymers with the purpose of creating self-sanitizing and biocidal therapies for implementation in hospitals as part of their infection prevention protocol. Complimentary to and compatible with all infection prevention processes on the market, EOSCU is the only practical intervention that is continuously self-sanitizing without requiring additional human intervention and training. Published clinical trials show statistically significant reductions in infection rates and lower mean bioburden beyond 24 hours. For more info, visit http://www.eoscu.com/

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Elizabeth McCaughey

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