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How Can Copper-Made Bed Sticks and Rails Help in the Fight Against the COVID-19?

beds and rails

Only last month, the scientific and the medical community reported that the novel coronavirus that paves the way for the COVID-19 pandemic can survive on hard surfaces such as glass and stainless steel for days can die within hours if they will land on copper. Perhaps the only thing that can be surprising here is that, if you have a prior awareness that copper is lethal to microbial life, viruses, and bacteria, is that they last longer on copper. 

As a microbiology researcher from the University of Southampton (UK), Bill Keevil has been involved in 2-decade comprehensive research and study on copper and how its antimicrobial properties work. He was able to watch in his own laboratory how this lowly metal whacked one bad bug after another. His findings on his research are very significant today now that we are facing the coronavirus scare. 

His initial research had him work first on a bacteria that will lead to the Legionnaire’s Disease. After this, his research team worked on drug-resistant infections such as the Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). His laboratory tools also worked on viruses that have rendered the world to go in a frenzied panic over the MERS virus, otherwise known as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome as well as 2009’s H1N1 virus that gave birth to the Swine Flu. 

In each of the cases identified above, the pathogen was extinguished within minutes of contact with copper material. Come the year 2015, Keevil had his eye on Coronavirus 229E. This particular strain of the virus is closely related to the COVID-19 virus that induces pneumonia and the common cold. 

As expected, copper seamlessly zapped the virus in just a few minutes. At the same time also, it remained highly infectious on surfaces that he deliberately contaminated with such as glass and stainless steel.  

There is a notable irony here.

It is very observable that in many public facilities stainless steel is the most favored material to use. Say for instance, check out the public train systems, supermarket chains, shopping malls, and airport facilities.

All of them make use of stainless steel in their handrail system , and other similar safety and security features. The underlying reason for the ubiquity of stainless steel has something to do with its seemingly clean look. 

But the underlying question here is, how often do we clean stainless steel handrails and bars? Honestly, we don’t clean them enough. Not as often as we should, and not as thorough as necessary. 

In complete contrast to this, copper (in its inherent antimicrobial property) remains clean, germ-free, and bacteria-free by just remaining there.  

Our suggestion here is, if companies involved in the manufacture of bed sticks and rails will have a way of making copper as the base material for their product offerings, then it comes to follow that they will be highly resistant to bacteria, fungal, and viral contamination, too. 

The use of stainless steel may not provide us the milestone solution that we desperately need nowadays amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but moving forward integrating copper instead of stainless steel in how we design and manufacture bed sticks and rails will somehow give us an assurance that will deter viral and bacterial contamination. 

Perhaps we can do the same thing also for handlebars and handrails in public train stations  and other similar transport facilities. With this in mind, the odds that we will thwart another bacterial or viral outbreak in the future is high. 

Gold and silver are examples of heavy metals, and they come with anti-microorganism properties, too. However, copper comes with a specific atomic makeup that renders it highly potent against different kinds of microorganisms. This includes bacteria, fungus, and the most sinister of them all, the virus. 

Delving deeper to its atomic structure, copper comes with a free electron. You will find this in the outer orbital electrons shell and is taking a significant role in oxidation-reduction reactions. It is also among the reasons why copper is such an excellent conductor of electricity. 

It is our fervent hope that there will be more funding for research on this matter. We need to have a better understanding of how the antimicrobial properties of copper can be taken advantage of for us to gain healthier life.  

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A Primer on Bed Sticks and Rails for the Infirmed Members of the Family

Many of us don’t know exactly what bed sticks & rails are and what they stand for, most especially if there is none in your family needing it or have used it before. We sometimes refer to them as bed assist rails or bed safety rails.

Bed sticks and rails are pieces of equipment designed to help in providing support and promote stability of infirmed individuals. Most of the time, they need a hand in getting in or out of bed. They can also assist the individual change his position even while in bed.

You securely attach them, either to the floor or somewhere along the bedposts. Bed assist rails are ubiquitously seen in nursing homes for the elderly and sick, medical facilities, and even in private homes. Their primary purpose is to be of help to those who are suffering from age-related mobility issues, post-surgical recovery, and also for those afflicted by a physical disability or the invalid. 

Bed sticks and rails are made from lightweight materials, formed and shaped into a pole. This allows for securing it under the mattress. The upright posts provide users with the additional support they need when they move. It gives them something to hold on to or to grasp on when they need to.  

Bed poles are often used in private homes and rehabilitation facilities. The reason behind this is their cost, they are relatively inexpensive. Bed poles can easily provide individuals with the increased independence/ease of movement they are looking for, as opposed to always waiting or holding on to the care and assistance of their nurse or professional care provider. 

However, in recent years, the safety of bed pole use has been hounded by controversy, asserting that it can put a user in harm’s way in certain circumstances.  

What Type of Bed Sticks & Rails is Suitable for You?

Bed sticks & rails are portable and removable pieces of devices. They can be securely attached to a bed or installed in close range to a patient’s bed. These are people who need some for stability and balance. 

As for the bed safety rails, they are designed primarily to minimize a patient’s risk of falling while in bed and to transition himself in and out of it. 

In the case of bed assist rails, they are ideal for people who are in some ways still mobile and can move about or can still stand on their own but may need some assistance to be more stable. 

hospital bed care

To know what type of bed sticks & rail will work best for you and cater to your needs, it is best to orient yourself with the many different options for these types of assistive devices. 

Bed Assist Poles

You securely attach them to the ceiling or floor. Bed assist poles are significantly helpful in giving patients an additional amount of stability when they need to get into bed or out of it. Normally, they come with padding which helps ensure a non-slip and secure grip. You can equip it with accessories like trapeze to give the patient an extra amount of help when he needs to sit up. 

The height of these assistive devices (bed poles) can be tweaked or adjusted as you deem necessary. They are usually made from a high grade coated steel to give it some extra strength and for resistance against rust, too. 

Bed assist poles will take up a very small amount of space and the great thing about them is the amount of flexibility they offer to users via available attachments like trapeze handles and pivot grab bars. 

And lastly, users can have them in bathrooms for support while transferring in and out of a bathtub.  

Bed Assist Rails

Otherwise known as bedside rails, you can securely attach them either to the mattress or bed frame. Once installed, patients have something to hold on to or grab on when they need to pull their bodies out of bed. 

While bed assist rails can’t keep you from falling off your bed while laying on it, they will provide your body with the substantial support it needs so it can reposition itself to a seated position while remaining in bed. The majority of the height for these items are adjustable and comes with non-slip padding for added security.  

Bed Assist Handles

While bed assist handles and bed assist rails to share something in common, they often come in much smaller sizes and are primarily designed for single-handed use. They can be floor-mounted with the help of their non-skid rubber feet. They’re extremely helpful when you need to transfer yourself, either in and out of bed. 

The use of bed assist handles is best recommended to people who can manage to stand on their feet with a minimal amount of assistance.  

Wrapping Up!

Regardless of the choice you have, whether it is handles, poles, or bed assist rails, you must take into account the instructions given in the user’s manual for safe and proper installation. 

You also need to comply with the recommended weight and height allowances which are often indicated in the instructional guidelines your product is provided with. Going against or not complying with those runs the risk of putting the patient or the user in harm’s way. 

Much like any other medical assistive equipment, there is, you can never go wrong with your choice of equipment if you will seek assistance or help from a reputable doctor or therapist regarding the device most appropriate for your individual needs.