U.S. researchers say they found using copper objects in hospital intensive care unit rooms cuts healthcare-acquired infections by more than half.
Copper -- and brass -- don't spread germs because they kill microbes on their surfaces continuously.
Healthcare-acquired infections such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus often contaminate items within hospital rooms, allowing bacteria to transfer from patient-to-patient.
Dr. Cassandra D. Salgado of the Medical University of South Carolina said several strategies to decrease healthcare-acquired infections have been attempted but few have been clinically proven to reduce the spread of these infections.
The study led by Salgado was performed from July 12, 2010, to June 14, 2011, at the Medical University of South Carolina, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center.