New Bacteria On The Scene

November 20, 2008
Courtesy of Nature.com

Courtesy of Nature.com

A bug responsible for 30% of resistant infections worldwide is on the rise according to this article.

Acinetobacter baumanniiis more resistant than the MRSA superbug and accounts for about 30 percent of drug-resistant hospital infections, said Matthew Falagas, director of the Alfa Institute of Biomedical Sciences in Greece.

What is the way to stop it?

Washing the dry surfaces in hospitals and something you’ve probably read before…

Washing hands.

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Surgeons Not Following Infection Control Procedures

November 17, 2008

This article recently came out showing that surgeon’s aren’t following guidelines in doing their part to minimize infections.

Alberta surgeons aren’t always following guidelines aimed at minimizing the risk patients will develop an infection as a result of their surgery, a new survey reveals.

And experts in infection control and health-care safety say the findings are probably reflective of surgical practice in other parts of the country as well.

“We have a long ways to go. It’s really hit or miss right now whether or noty ou’re going to get all these things done properly,”; said Marlies van Dijk, a nurse and leader of the Western Canada efforts of Safer Healthcare Now!, a campaign to promote practices that improve patient safety.

“We know that we ought to be doing better,” said Dr. Andrew Simor, head of microbiology at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

If you’re going in for surgery, print this page out and bring it to your doc and nurses.


First MRSA, Now C.-diff….

November 12, 2008
Smear of C.-diff

Smear of C.-diff

Not totally a shock to those who follow the infection scene.   According to Lisa McGiffert, Director of Consumers Union’s Stop Hospital Infections Campaign ( www.StopHospitalInfections.org):

“Health care consumers need to be aware that most U.S. hospitals are not consistently following basic infection control practices against C.-diff..  Patients are already having to remind doctors to wash their hands, but they shouldn’t have to bring bleach with them to make sure their rooms are clean. Hospitals need to make sure that rooms are properly disinfected and that staff are following strict infection control practices at all times.”

I’ve heard stories of C.-diff living on EKG (heart monitoring) leads for a month.  As the rest of the room around them was cleaned thoroughly the patients being admitted to the room kept getting reinfected.

Learn about this bacterium.  It’s on route to becoming the next superbug.


Going High Tech to Stop Infections

November 10, 2008

Dr. Carmeli

Dr. Carmeli

According to HealthNewsDigest, Prof. Yehuda Carmeli of Tel Aviv University, has developed a software system that help healthcare workers control and prevent infections in hospitals.  Says Prof. Carmeli:

“We stopped 45 percent of the primary hospital-borne organisms that attack patients from spreading.”

The system uses such things as e-mail alert, text messaging and other methods of online communication to keep the hospital staff appraised of possible infection threats within the hospital.

Because of the success he’s had, Prof. Carmeli has been invited to demonstrate his system at various institutions around the US.


Keep Washing Those Hands!

November 5, 2008
Christine Moore (left) shows proper hand washing technique using alcohol-based hand rub.

Christine Moore (left) shows proper hand washing technique using alcohol-based hand rub.

Hand washing is still one of the best forms of defense against spreading infection.  Mt. Sinai hospital published this blurb on the importance of hand hygeine.

The following quote is not surprising and a little unsettling:

When it comes to hand hygiene, the survey shows that Mount Sinai staff feel they are doing a better job than they actually are. In fact, staff believe that 77 per cent of the time they wash their hands before contacting patients, while the 2008 Mount Sinai audit shows a 48 per cent compliance rate.

This pattern is actually typical in hospitals.  You can do your part as a patient.  REMIND the clincians to wash their hands before touching you.  It’s not disrespectful–it’s TEAMWORK!


Great Resource, Check this place out!

November 3, 2008

I was looking through some research and came across this site again.  Bookmark it and download their information.  Very worthwhile and excellent info for you and your loved ones.


Nose Swabbing Not All That

November 1, 2008
Staphylococci

Staphylococci

Researchers are finding that nose swabbing to look for the MRSA superbug isn’t super effective at minimizing hospital infection.

Little wonder in some ways.  Since hospitals will most likely be punished in the future if someone gets an infection they didn’t have when they came in, the process of nose swabbing may have more to do with saving money than saving lives.

The solution, say researchers, is to implement more broad based infection control measures.