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Select Month: October 2011

Protect Cancer Patients from Infections

Categories: Antibiotic use, Healthcare-associated infections, Outpatient Care

Alice Guh, M.D, MPH

Alice Guh, M.D, MPH

Author: Alice Guh,
CDC medical officer and co-lead of Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients initiative

As clinicians, we know that the nearly one million patients who receive outpatient cancer treatment each year are at risk for serious infections that may lead to hospitalization, disruptions in chemotherapy schedules, and in some cases, death. Even so, it appears that outpatient oncology facilities may vary greatly in their attention to infection prevention. As one example – at an oncology clinic in Nebraska, it was discovered that syringes were reused to access bags of saline that were shared among multiple patients. This unsafe practice led to the transmission of hepatitis C virus to at least 99 cancer patients, resulting in one of the largest healthcare-associated outbreaks of its kind.

To help address this problem, CDC is launching a new program called Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients, featuring tools to help both clinicians and patients prevent infections.

As a cornerstone of this new initiative, CDC worked with partners to develop a Basic Infection Control and Prevention Plan for Outpatient Oncology Settings, which can be used by outpatient oncology facilities to standardize – and improve – infection prevention practices.

International Infection Prevention Week Celebrates a Milestone

Categories: Healthcare-associated infections

Russell N. Olmsted, MPH, CIC

Russell N. Olmsted, MPH, CIC

Author: Russell N. Olmsted, MPH, CIC
2011 President, APIC
Director, Infection Prevention & Control Services, St. Joseph Mercy Health System,
Ann Arbor, Michigan

International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW), which occurs October 16–22, 2011, represents the 25th anniversary of the commemoration of the importance of infection prevention around the globe.  It does not seem possible that 25 years have passed since the launch of this important event.

Under the theme of “infection prevention is everyone’s business,” this annual recognition allows APIC the opportunity to strengthen relationships with other organizations actively engaged in infection prevention and to broaden the understanding of how we all work together to protect patients. To date, nearly 30 associations and half of U.S. states have pledged their support for IIPW.

 
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