Bold Voices - July 2013 - (Page 17)

AT THE BEDSIDE Copper Surfaces Can Cut in Half the Risk of HAI Copper’s intrinsic antimicrobial qualities mitigate environmental pathogens. “Our study found that placement of items with copper surfaces into ICU rooms as an additional measure to routine infection control practices could reduce the risk of HAI as well as colonization with multidrug resistant microbes,” says lead author Cassandra D. Salgado, associate professor at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), Charleston, in a press release. MUSC received a 2013 award from the Critical Care Societies Collaborative and U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for its successful efforts toward elimination of HAIs. Photo by Copper Development Association. From July 2010 to June 2011, ICUs were monitored at MUSC, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and the Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Charleston. Patients were randomly placed in either standard ICU rooms or rooms with frequently touched items made from copper alloys. Of the six commonly touched surfaces, four — bed rails, arms of the visitor’s chair, IV poles and overbed tables — were the same at all hospitals. Two items varied slightly, i.e., (1) the nurse’s call button and computer mouse, and (2) the palm rest of a laptop computer and the bezel of the touch-screen monitor, the study notes. Rates of HAI and/or MRSA or VRE colonization in rooms with copper surfaces were “significantly lower” than in standard rooms (7.1 percent vs. 12.3 percent), the study shows. For HAI only, the infection rate decreased from 8.1 percent to 3.4 percent. “Our findings suggest that reduction in environmental contamination could lead to fewer HAIs, presumably by decreasing the likelihood of introducing microbes into the patient,” researchers note in the article. They indicate additional studies are needed to confirm the analysis. Reliability of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Calculators The use of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk calculators is often recommended in healthcare guidelines. However, research on the consistency in risk assessment between calculators is limited. Just how reliable are CVD calculators? Circulation, an American Heart Association journal, published “Agreement Among Cardiovascular Disease Risk Calculators,” a study in which 25 CVD risk calculators were compared. Hypothetical patients were created using variations on the following parameters: age, gender, smoking, blood pressure, highSignificant variance density lipoprotein, total cholesterol reported in results and diabetes. The study finds significant variance among CVD calculators. in results obtained from the calculators. The average number of categories generated for each patient was not 1, but 2.2. Also, 41 percent of hypothetical patients were categorized in all three risk groups (low, medium and high). The study concludes, “The decision as to which calculator to use for risk estimation has an important impact on both risk categorization and absolute risk estimates. This has broad implications for guidelines recommending therapies based on specific calculators.” 17 AACN BOLD VOICES JULY 2013 C opper surfaces on objects such as IV poles and bed rails in ICU rooms can reduce patients’ risk of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) by more than half, finds a study at three medical centers. “Copper Surfaces Reduce the Rate of Healthcare-Acquired Infections in the Intensive Care Unit,” in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, notes that copper has intrinsic antimicrobial qualities that continuously mitigate environmental pathogens.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Bold Voices - July 2013

Front/Digital Edition Viewing Guide
Another Angle
We Welcome New, Thank Off-going National Board Members
Managers Note Less Professionalism Among Nurses
Joint Commission: Alarm Fatigue Can Be Deadly
Many Nurses Subject to Workplace Violence
Sharps Injuries Continue to Pose Work Hazard
Medicare Commission Explores Pay Inequality for APRNs
NTI 2013 in Photos
Can iPads Disrupt Function of Implanted Heart Devices?
Copper Surfaces Can Cut in Half the Risk of HAI
In OurJournals
Boston Eds Ready for Emergencies, Some Airlines Unprepared
AACN Scholarships Support Your Future
Visionary Leaders Recognized at NTI
Step Forward

Bold Voices - July 2013