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"Grab Rails and Bathroom Accessories
for the Aged and Impaired"

SureCare’s Copper Rails Fight Infections in Hospitals

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SureCare has helped Sandringham Hospital (Melbourne) to be the first hospital in Australia to install Antimicrobial Copper as part of its infection control strategy. Steve McGown, founder and MD of SureCare, took on the challenge of architect Michael Vincent when he started working on new designs for the hospital. ‘Healthcare Acquired Infections’ in hospitals and aged care facilities are becoming a serious issue for these facilities, with estimates that up to 10% of patients are becoming infected while in care. As part of a strategy to reduce these risks, hospitals are looking at the option of replacing touch surfaces with copper, particularly for grab rails. Copper has been shown to reduce the risks of infection by almost 60% because of its anti-microbial properties. SureCare has a lot of experience making and installing the sort of stainless steel rails seen in hospitals, but the idea of making them out of Antimicrobial Copper presented a difficult challenge.

 

Firstly, Steve had to source the 90%copper/10%nickel alloy for the rails from Germany. Then, it took around 18 months of trial and error to fully overcome the challenges of turning the alloy into rails of SureCare’s high standards. The final product has a slight copper sheen but generally looks and acts like stainless steel. Special tooling had to be introduced to be able to join and polish it properly.

 

The 105 bed Sandringham Hospital, which is in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs, will ultimately use about 300 metres of Antimicrobial Copper railings as part of its two-phase $6 million refurbishment and extension. SureCare’s copper rails are just part of the hospital’s ‘copperisation’, which also includes door handles and plates, bed head medical service cover plates and central light switch cover plates.