Infection control at your fingertips

A totally sealed keyboard includes CuVerro antimicrobial copper keys and front plate to provide antimicrobial protection

Operator Interface Technology keyboard featuring CuVerro copper keys and front plate

An antimicrobial copper keyboard manufactured by US firm Operator Interface Technology can be used as a supplementary way to reduce bacterial infection in healthcare environments alongside standard cleaning routines. It is robust, waterproof, and features solid CuVerro antimicrobial copper keys and front plate.

The Longmont, CO-based firm says the totally sealed keyboard can be cleaned and disinfected at regular intervals and between cleanings, the CuVerro surfaces begin killing bacteria on contact, destroying 99.9% of bacteria within two hours of exposure. In addition, the antimicrobial copper continuously delivers antibacterial action after repeated contamination.

The firm says the CuVerro antimicrobial copper product should be used as a supplement to and not as a substitute for standard infection control practices. CuVerro has been shown to reduce microbial contamination, but it does not necessarily prevent cross contamination, the firm says.

Copper is inherently antimicrobial, sharing this attribute with many commonly used alloys, such as brass and bronze.

A three-centre clinical trial of antimicrobial copper components, conducted in the US and funded by the Department of Defense, identified computer input devices as being among the most contaminated surfaces in an intensive care unit patient's vicinity.

Along with other highly contaminated surfaces, these were replaced with antimicrobial copper equivalents and contamination measured and compared with non-copper surfaces. The study found a median 97% reduction in contamination on the copper surfaces, and also revealed a greater than 40% reduction in a patient's risk of acquiring a hospital infection when staying in ICU rooms equipped with just six antimicrobial copper surfaces.

In a recent survey of 220 infection control practitioners, conducted by the UKs Copper Development Association to assess the key touch surfaces to prioritise when implementing antimicrobial copper, nearly 20% of them placed keyboards on their list of highest-risk surfaces for the spread of infection.

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