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Silver treated products reduce levels of hospital bacterial contamination

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Pilot study highlights potential benefits of silver treated products in reducing levels of bacterial contamination in hospital clinical units
Using silver treated products in hospital clincial units results in a reduction in bacterial contamination according to a pilot study published in the Journal of Infection Prevention.

The study was carried out in two outpatients departments. In department A silver treated products, including electrical sockets and switches, treatment couches, cubicle curtains and water taps, were used for one year. A number of untreated products were also included in the unit. Department B was untreated.

After a year swabs were collected to measure the number of bacteria in the environments of each department. In unit A samples were taken from silver treated products and non treated products.

The mean total viable count (TVC) of bacteria was 95.8% lower in the silver treated department (A) compared with the untreated department (B). In department A the TVC was 92.6% lower for silver treated products compared to untreated products.

The authors also found that the TVC on untreated products in department A was 43.5% lower than untreated products in unit B. They suggest that this may be because the position of silver coated products resulted in fewer bacteria being transferred between surfaces.

The authors recommend that further studies are required to find out if the antimicrobial effects of silver treated products is maintained over time or whether bacterial resistance to silver could become a problem in the future.

Journal of Infection Prevention; 10:1, 8-14

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