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Top 5 Contagion® News Articles Month of August 2017

SEP 06, 2017 | CONTAGION EDITORIAL STAFF

#5: CDC Quarantines Potentially Defective Equipment

A recent 60 Minutes report is drawing attention to potentially defective equipment stockpiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although this special first aired in 2016, it was re-run the week of August 8, 2017, which brought forth the question of, “what is being done?”

The special focused on personal protective equipment (PPE) that was being stockpiled by the CDC for use against future outbreaks or public health emergencies, such as treating an influx of Ebola patients during an outbreak. The 60 Minutes investigative team filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain documents regarding MicroCool gowns that are part of the US Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). The SNS, according to the CDC, is the “nation’s largest supply of potentially life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical supplies for use in a public health emergency severe enough to cause local supplies to run out.”

Learn more about the potentially defective equipment that was quarantined, here.
 

#4: Hand Hygiene in Hospitals Increases with Patient Involvement

Despite decreasing statistics, healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) continue to be a major source of infections in the United States. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, “on any given day, about 1 in 25 hospital patients has at least one HAI.” Arguably, one of the best ways to prevent HAIs is through performing appropriate hand-hygiene; however, reports reveal that 70% of healthcare workers and 50% of surgical teams do not routinely practice hand hygiene. Now, researchers from the West Virginia University (WVU) School of Medicine may have come up with a way to help decrease those numbers by empowering patients to take an active role in their provider’s hand hygiene.

The new research, published in the American Journal of Infection Control, and led by Allison Lastinger, MD, of the WVU School of Medicine, details the results of a cross-sectional, anonymous, self-administered questionnaire that was administered to 114 parents of hospitalized children and 108 adult patients (from December 2015 to June 2016), as well as primary care physicians (29 residents and 60 attending physicians in November 2015) at the WVU Medicine J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital. The questionnaire surveyed the respondents on their feelings about a new patient empowerment tool, designed to enable patients to take an active role in encouraging healthcare provider hand hygiene.

Continue reading more about how to increase hand hygiene through patient involvement, here.

#3: Probiotic Proves Deadly Against Clostridium Difficile

In the fight against bacterial pathogens, researchers are finding new weapons in “good” bacteria, as a new study suggests that probiotics may be used to kill dangerous Clostridium difficile bacteria.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States sees nearly 500,000 C. difficile infections each year. The “superbug” is one of the biggest drug-resistant threats plaguing the country’s healthcare system, killing an estimated 14,000 individuals each year and costing about $1 billion annually in medical expenses. C. difficile infections typically occur in individuals who have recently taken antibiotics to fight another infection, as the antibiotics kill off the beneficial bacteria in the gut and thus, make patients more susceptible to infection if they come into contact with contaminated surfaces. C. difficile spores can also be spread by healthcare workers’ hands. The pathogen leads to inflammation in the colon, and symptoms of an infection include watery diarrhea, fever, nausea, and loss of appetite; such infections are becoming increasingly drug-resistant and recurrent. In addition, more than 80% of deaths caused by C. difficile infections occur in adults who are 65 or older.

Read more about the probiotic that is active against C. difficile, here.
 

#2: What Makes Delafloxacin a Unique Antibiotic for Skin Infections?

Antibiotic resistance has become a major clinical challenge in both the hospital and community setting with multidrug resistant pathogens becoming more common. Skin and skin structure infections account for over 7 million cases annually in the community with almost 2% of cases admitted to hospital. Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), both methicillin susceptible (MS) and resistant (MR), are the most causative species; however, Gram-negative species are emerging in certain patient types.

Almost all antibiotics are written empirically so choices should include agents with an appropriate spectrum. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved delafloxacin (BAXDELA) for acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections in adults.3 This new fluoroquinolone is available in both tablet, 450 mg, and intravenous, 300 mg, formulations and can be dosed for 5-14 days twice daily.

Learn more about delafloxacin, here.


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