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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CareFlash – More Than a Flash in the Pan

November 14, 2008

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When friends or family end up in the hospital, it’s often difficult to know what to do, what the problems are, who will visit whom when.

CareFlash is a great site that helps educate and coordinate the experience when a loved one ends up in a hospital.

CareFlash provides a common place on the Internet, to and from which people may submit, retrieve and share information and well-wishes surrounding a loved one’s health circumstances. In the respective context of each community, we serve-up hundreds of 3-D healthcare animations on disorders, procedures and anatomical function, all produced with world-class quality and accuracy, and narrated in plain language. The animations are also available in Spanish and Arabic with more languages to come in 2008.

Best of all, it’s free. Check it out!


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.


Not Blogging… Logging!

November 12, 2008

If you’re on new medication keep a log/diary of how you’re doing on the meds.  If you have high blood pressure, buy yourself a Blood Pressure System .  Then using Excel or the really cool, FREE openoffice.org version you can keep track of your data. Using a spreadsheet is especially good because you can print out the data and manipulate it to learn other things. 

You’d be surprised how often you think you have everything remembered only to be reminded by things once you look in your diary.


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.


The Family as Partner in Healthcare

October 30, 2008

This is a great way to start my new blog.  This article hits the nail right on the head.

Especially important is the fact that families are also partners in care, not just customers. According to Beverly Johnson, the president of the nonprofit institute for Family-Centered Care:

“Families are allies and partners for safety and quality.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.