The new Vital Signs report issued by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals the serious problem that the United States is facing when it comes to hospital-acquired infections.
According to Tom Frieden, the director of CDC, their data shows that there is a large number of patients getting infected with life-threatening, drug-resistant bacteria present in the healthcare facilities.
The director further points out that doctors and hospitals should protect patients, not get them sick when they enter their gates.
In some of the worst case scenarios, these antibiotic-resistant bacterias can threaten the lives of patients that are being treated for other afflictions and can even advance into sepsis or death.
Some of the most important powerful antibiotic-resistant threats discovered by researchers are: Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae, Methicilin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter and Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE).
CDC’s report mentions the fact that 1 out 7 catheter and surgery-related infections from acute care hospitals are caused by one of these six bacteria listed above. If we are talking about long-term acute hospitals, this number rises to 1 in 4 infections. Here we are referring to patients that are usually treated for severe illnesses and are hospitalized for more than 25 days.
Even though the situation continues to be serious, there seems to have been a decrease in the number of healthcare-associated infections over the last few years.
The Vital Signs report mentions the fact that between the period of 2008-2014 the number of central line-associated bloodstream infections has gone down by 50% and there’s also been a 17% reduction in surgical site infections.
Furthermore, the researchers observed a decrease in all settings between the period of 2013-2014.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also analyzed the number of infections caused by Clostridium dificile, one of the most common hospital-based bacteria, which caused around 500,000 infections in the US back in 2011.
The report suggests that healthcare facilities have also achieved a progress in this respect, leading to an 8% decrease between 2011-2014.
Aside from the Vital Signs report, the CDC has also launched an application called the Antibiotic Resistance Patient Safety Atlas, which shows the percentage of resistance to various superbug/drug combinations, based on data collected from over 4,000 medical facilities.
In conclusion to all of this, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending all healthcare facility personnel, as well as the local and state health departments to continue their work in preventing HAIs.
From this respect, there are three main directions that need to be considered in order to eliminate this threat: preventing the spread of bacteria among patients, improving antibiotic use through stewardship and preventing catheter and surgery-related infections.
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