Bug-busting copper cuff makes innovation award shortlist

Antimicrobial cuff from Salvere Technologies singled out in East Midlands Innovation in Healthcare Awards 2015

A unique, antimicrobial copper blood pressure cuff has made the shortlist of the East Midlands Innovation in Healthcare Awards 2015, announced this week.

Blood pressure cuffs – touched frequently by healthcare staff and transferred from one patient to another – are a potential reservoir for infection, with bacteria and viruses deposited on their surface able to survive and breed, presenting a risk to vulnerable patients.

Copper is a powerful antimicrobial material with rapid, broad-spectrum efficacy against bacteria and viruses, including MRSA, E.coli and norovirus. It shares this benefit with a range of copper alloys – such as brasses and bronzes – forming a family of materials collectively called ‘antimicrobial copper’.

The shortlisted cuff – developed by Salvere Copper Healthcare Products – is made from finely-woven copper, offering patients and staff protection from cross-contamination while also being comfortable to use.

Roade Surgery in Northampton has been trialling the cuffs and surgery manager, Keith Hutchings, said: “The cuffs are lightweight, flexible and robust. Despite constant use they remain completely undamaged or worn. They also provide a talking point with some patients who are interested in the ‘strange new cuff’.”

The awards – run by the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network – recognise and celebrate the work of NHS organisations, universities, charities, councils and businesses to develop new and better healthcare services. The cuff is in the Medical Technology category and winners will be announced on 5 November.

Roger French, director of Salvere Copper Healthcare Products, said: “This nomination means the world to me. Ultimately, working with copper is about saving lives. Copper can do this by reducing contamination, and thus the risk of infections.”

Touch surfaces made from solid antimicrobial copper are already used by healthcare facilities around the world to reduce the spread of infections, supporting key infection control measures such as good hand hygiene and regular surface cleaning and disinfection.

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