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Antimicrobial Stewardship – a concept we must all embrace

Categories: Antibiotic use, Antimicrobial Resistance

Jennie L. Mayfield, BSN, MPH, CIC

Jennie L. Mayfield, BSN, MPH, CIC

Guest Author: Jennie L. Mayfield, BSN, MPH, CIC
2014 President,
Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC)

A retrospective study from The University of Texas College of Pharmacy published in the October issue of the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC), found that C. difficile infections (CDI) nearly doubled from 2001 to 2010 in U.S. hospitals.

Researchers analyzed 10 years of data from the U.S. National Hospital Discharge Surveys (NHDS) and found that from 2001 to 2010, rates of CDI among hospitalized adults rose from 4.5 to 8.2 CDI discharges per 1,000 total adult hospital discharges.

Antibiotic resistance: Know your ABC’s

Categories: Antibiotic use, Antimicrobial Resistance

Crystal Heishman MSN, RN, CIC, ONC

Crystal Heishman MSN, RN, CIC, ONC

Guest Author: Crystal Heishman MSN, RN, CIC, ONC
Infection preventionist at the University of Louisville Hospital

As healthcare providers and patients, we have long heard the warnings about the dangers and eminent threat of antibiotic resistance. Bacteria have continually adapted to antibiotics, becoming increasingly resistant to many of the medications used to treat them. Resistance is now a global issue that must be addressed comprehensively and quickly.

The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) is raising awareness and focusing attention on antibiotic resistance during Get Smart About Antibiotics Week. The centerpiece of this outreach is a new “ABC’s of Antibiotics [PDF - 714 KB]” infographic poster for patients and families that illustrates when antibiotics work and when they don’t.

A = Ask if antibiotics are appropriate; B = Bacteria – antibiotics only kill bacteria and won’t work to treat viruses; and C = Complete the course of your medicines – even if you feel better before you finish them.

Safe Diabetes Care: Insulin Pens are ONE Person ONLY

Categories: Healthcare-associated infections, Injection Safety

Ann L. Albright, PhD, RD

Ann L. Albright, PhD, RD

Guest Author: Ann L. Albright, PhD, RD
Director, Division of Diabetes Translation,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Diabetes is a chronic condition that is a 24/7 responsibility for everyone who has it. Diligence is necessary to manage diabetes, since its highs and lows can strike while we are otherwise busy with life. It is exciting that there are advances and tools such as the insulin pen to make it easier for people to administer insulin. This is particularly helpful for children, who often must take insulin during the school day, or for those who need to administer insulin while on the go. Diabetes isn’t a convenient disease to live with, no matter what your age.

Along with these tools come great responsibilities, of course, and as health professionals, we can help keep our patients safe. It’s always important to think about how someone uses an insulin pen. The pen can make it easier for people to administer the correct dosage in a timely way, as well as to keep track of only one item, rather than the insulin vial and syringes. But it can also make it easier to share with another individual, without considering the consequences. Teaching people with diabetes to take care of their insulin pen, to use it only for themselves, is essential.

Coming Out of “Deafening Silence” to Fight Sepsis Together

Categories: Healthcare-associated infections, Sepsis

Steven Q. Simpson, MD

Steven Q. Simpson, MD

Guest Author: Steven Q. Simpson, MD
University of Kansas and Sepsis Alliance

What severe sepsis needs is the equivalent of an American Heart Association. An organization that exists to teach the general public, as well as physicians, how to save lives. Thanks, in large part, to the heart association, Americans are well versed in the symptoms of heart attack. Pick up the phone and call your mother (this assumes that your mother is not a doc, which is not a 100% safe assumption, but is more likely to be true than not). Ask her what causes heart attacks. There is a high likelihood that she understands that heart attacks stem from acute occlusion of a coronary artery. She can probably tell you that the symptoms include pain in the chest, jaw, and shoulder and that there are clot busting drugs to help, if you get to the hospital quickly. More than likely, she also recognizes some of the major risk factors, including cholesterol, hypertension, and – one hopes – smoking.

Now ask her about sepsis, and listen to the deafening silence on the other end of the phone line. Severe sepsis is the stealth killer; it kills between 30% and 50% of people who develop it, and it is one of the most common causes of death in the US, although the deaths are often attributed to underlying diseases, such as COPD or cancer. There are no public service announcements about sepsis. One does not find the signs or symptoms in the lay press. Only the occasional nightmare story about a young person in whom the diagnosis of severe sepsis was missed and who died as a result. The sad thing is that this happens much more frequently than the reports in the papers show up. Worse yet, physicians remain, in large part, oblivious to the simple approach to infected patients that would prevent many of the deaths. Worst of all, every family has been touched by severe sepsis in one way or another, but they mostly do not know it, because none of the doctors called it that, only “severe pneumonia,” “kidney infection,” “peritonitis.”

Executive Order Issued On One of the Most Urgent Health Concerns Facing Us Today

Categories: Antimicrobial Resistance, Healthcare-associated infections

Plates of plates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in CDC’s healthcare-associated infections laboratory.

Plates of plates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in CDC’s healthcare-associated infections laboratory.

National Strategy to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

The announcement Thursday morning of the President’s Executive Order and the National Strategy to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria marks the administration’s response to one of the most urgent health threats facing us today – antibiotic resistance.

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