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Selected Category: Healthcare-associated infections

SHEA Scientific Meeting Featured Cutting Edge Research on Prevention and Treatment of HAIs

Categories: Antibiotic use, Hand Hygiene, Healthcare-associated infections

Steven M. Gordon, MD, FACP

Steven M. Gordon, MD, FACP

Guest Author – Steven M. Gordon, MD, FACP
President of SHEA

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America’s 21st Annual Meeting provided a forum for discussing the latest research, evidence and advances in healthcare epidemiology, with the goal of bringing this knowledge one step closer to bedside implementation and the elimination of healthcare-associated infections. More than 1,600 academicians, researchers, frontline providers, infection preventionists and public health officials attended the four-day event in Dallas. 

Two studies that highlight the breadth of the work presented at this year’s meeting are highlighted below. The first, from researchers with the Salt Lake City VA Healthcare System, demonstrates the rising use of broad-spectrum antibiotics over a five-year period. This increased use may be impacting the efficacy of our most powerful antibiotics. 

In an era of multi-drug resistant organisms, clinicians are placed in a difficult situation. Because treatment outcomes of many bacterial infections are influenced by the timing of appropriate therapy, the increasing presence of resistant organisms triggers greater use of these powerful antibiotics for proven or suspected infections in hospitalized patients. Studies like this are critical to our understanding of antibiotic resistance. 

New guidelines to prevent catheter-related infections

Categories: BSIs, CLABSI, Healthcare-associated infections, HICPAC

Naomi O’Grady, MD

Naomi O’Grady, MD

Guest Author – Naomi O’Grady, MD
National Institutes of Health
Medical Director, Clinical Center’s Vascular Access and Conscious Sedation Services.

Recently, hospital-acquired infections have become an important benchmark of hospital quality and patient safety. Many hospitals are now being required to report patient safety data, and some of this data includes infection rates.

I am proud to announce the release of the updated Guideline to Prevent Intravascular Catheter Related Infections. Clinicians and infection control personnel now have the most recent published information on how to best eliminate these types of infections.

Important Reminder: Wear Facemasks During Spinal Injection Procedures

Categories: Healthcare-associated infections, Injection Safety

Amit Chitnis, MD, MPH

Amit Chitnis, MD, MPH

Author – Amit Chitnis, MD, MPH
CDC Epidemic Intelligence Officer
Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion

Today, CDC is reminding clinicians to use facemasks when injecting medicine or inserting catheters into epidural or subdural spaces of the spine. This includes “epidurals” during childbirth labor and injection of contrast dye during imaging procedures.

We are concerned that despite 2007 recommendations aimed at preventing these infections, outbreaks of infections continue to occur among patients undergoing spinal injection procedures. As a CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, I investigated the most recent outbreak of bacterial meningitis among patients who had undergone a spinal injection during the course of their medical care. Our findings from this investigation, as well as from previous CDC investigations, have helped us answer the following questions:

First, who is at risk? Anyone receiving spinal injection procedures may be at risk of contracting an infection if proper infection control techniques are not in place.  In the most recent investigation, all the cases of bacterial meningitis occurred among patients who underwent myelography (a spinal procedure requiring injection of contrast dye) at an outpatient imaging facility. However, in previous investigations, cases were detected primarily among hospital patients who received spinal anesthesia or epidural anesthesia.

Media Reports about Drug-Resistant Infections

Categories: Antimicrobial Resistance, Gram negatives, Healthcare-associated infections, HICPAC, Long Term Care (LTC)

Arjun Srinivasan, MD

Arjun Srinivasan, MD

Author – Arjun Srinivasan, MD
CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion

You probably have seen the media reports this week about drug-resistant infections in California healthcare facilities, specifically those in Los Angeles County. What we know, however, is that carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP) actually exists in at least 36 states. Originally identified in 1999, CRKP may be present in the other 14 states as well, just not yet reported to CDC. 

CRKP is a Gram-negative bacteria and part of a family called Enterobacteriaceae. Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (or CRE) are able to fight off our last-resort antibiotics and have become an important public health issue resulting in high mortality (death) in patients. 

How can we stop these bugs?  CDC released prevention guidelines on multi-drug resistant organisms in 2006 and guidelines specifically targeting CRE in 2009. [See my previous blog posts on how to prevent CRE.] 

New Clinical Guidelines for MRSA Treatment

Categories: Antimicrobial Resistance, Healthcare-associated infections, MRSA

Catherine Liu, MD

Catherine Liu, MD

Author – Dr. Catherine Liu
Assistant Clinical Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of California

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) – both healthcare- and community-associated – has become an enormous public health problem. MRSA is responsible for about 60 percent of skin and soft tissue infections seen in emergency rooms, and invasive MRSA kills about 18,000 people annually. Clinicians often struggle with how best to treat MRSA, resulting in wide variations in approaches to therapy. The growing clinical impact of MRSA, particularly community-acquired infections, prompted the Infectious Diseases Society of America to develop its first treatment guidelines for MRSA. Charged with reviewing the evidence and developing the guidelines, my coauthors and I aimed to create a framework to help clinicians evaluate and treat uncomplicated and invasive MRSA infections. As with all IDSA guidelines, they are voluntary and are not meant to replace clinical judgment, but rather synthesize the available evidence and support the decision-making process, which must be individualized for each patient.

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