On any given day, one in about 25 hospital patients has at least one health care-associated infection. In 2011, an estimated 722,000 patients contracted an infection in a U.S. hospital, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Those infections cost U.S. hospitals an estimated $30 billion or more per year in direct medical costs, according to the CDC.
Pedigo Products, a Vancouver-based hospital equipment manufacturer, hopes a line of new products will help bring those numbers down and prevent patients from contracting infections.
Instead of stainless steel, Pedigo is using CuVerro, a bacteria-killing copper alloy — a mix of copper and nickel — that continuously kills bacteria for some of its high-touch hospital equipment. Tests show that the copper alloy, which is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency, kills more than 99.9 percent of several bacteria within two hours and continues to kill 99 percent after repeated contamination. Those bacteria include MRSA, E. coli and strains of staph, among others. The copper doesn’t require any treatment, just regular cleaning.
“CuVerro is killing bacteria 24/7,” said Rick Pedigo, chief executive officer of Pedigo. “It’s a metal that doesn’t wear off. It’s permanent.”