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Urgent Message Regarding Patient Safetly

   
   
   
   
   
 

What do we do when antibiotics don’t work any more?

 
   
 
   
   
   
 

MRSA on the Rise: Infections Have Doubled in 5 Years

   
 
   
   
 

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has rapidly become the bacteria of the decade. MRSA infections now respond only to very advanced antibiotics that were never meant to be a first-line defense. Usually, the drugs have to be delivered intravenously -- which often means spending some nights in the hospital. And it doesn't help that the state of antibiotics is falling behind. With new antibiotics being approved at slower and slower rates, the battle against MRSA has many doctors worrying about creating a superbug they can't kill at all. Now, new data suggest that the MRSA problem may be even worse than we thought.

In a recent study by researchers at the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) and University of Chicago Medicine, the rate of MRSA infections recorded at U.S. academic hospitals doubled in the five years between 2003 and 2008. That means nearly 1 in 20 inpatients are now either battling an invasive infection or have been colonized by the bacteria (meaning they carry the germ but don't suffer from any symptoms). In each of the last three years, more MRSA-infected people have checked into the hospital than either HIV-positive or influenza-afflicted patients, combined.

Most of these patients are likely picking up the bacteria even before they reach the hospital grounds. According to a 2010 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report, infections of invasive MRSA acquired in-hospital fell by 28 percent from 2005 through 2008. Given MRSA's rapid advance in the face of the CDC's finding -- from 21 infections per 1,000 people to 42 per 1,000 -- it's probably safe to conclude that the increases we're seeing can be blamed on community-associated MRSA, a different strain of the germ.

Together, the CDC report and the newer study from the University of Chicago paint two different portraits of the MRSA problem. The first describes the extent of the illness as it actually affects victims today. It only counts serious infections that have penetrated deep into blood or spinal fluid, and makes a point of excluding cases of colonization. The second tries to account for all cases of infection, including colonization, and winds up capturing MRSA's full potential. Knowing how many people have been colonized by MRSA implies just how many are at risk for consequential illness.

In fact, the Chicago scientists say, the new estimate might even be low-balling the disease's pervasiveness because the database they use -- a collection of insurance bills -- tends to under-report instances of MRSA if patients were hospitalized for some other ailment. When the researchers went back to correct for the statistical inaccuracy, they discovered that the insurance claims had missed between a third to one-half of actual MRSA cases as recorded by the hospitals' own records.

At least some of the increase reported in the Chicago paper may simply be due to the fact that we're now more alert to MRSA than we used to be. Better screening means we'll find more of what we're looking for. Still, that doesn't change the fact that more people in general are becoming carriers for MRSA. Getting infected may not guarantee illness in a specific patient, but it also increases the bacteria's chances of eventually being spread to someone who will fall ill from an infection. And that's why understanding the scope of MRSA's potential -- as opposed to measuring only the immediately-consequential cases of MRSA infection -- is so important.

   
   
 

Stunning News On Preventable Deaths In Hospitals

 

Stunning News On Preventable Deaths In Hospitals - Forbes

   
 

In 1999, Americans learned that 98,000 people were dying every year from preventable errors in hospitals. That came from a widely touted analysis by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) called To Err Is Human. This was the “Silent Spring” of the health care world, grabbing headlines for revealing a serious and deadly problem that required policy and action.

As it turns out, those were the good old days.

According to a new study just out from the prestigious Journal of Patient Safety, four times as many people die from preventable medical errors than we thought, as many as 440,000 a year.

Leah Binder, When I read the list of contributors to the Journal of Patient Safety I see a Who’s Who of the most renowned researchers in the field.

Robert J. Szczerba, Contributor – Great article. It’s an interesting exercise to put healthcare statistics in the context of a consumer product.

 
 
 
 
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  CURRENT UPDATE:
   
  Press Release
 
   
   
   
  Superbug CBS News Report
   
   
   
   
  CDC News Release on SIR report 2-11-13Report
  Hospitals in the U.S. continue to make progress in the fight against central line-associated bloodstream infections and some surgical site infections, but did not see improvement in catheterassociated urinary tract infections between 2010 and 2011, according to a report issued today by
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read more...
   
  Consumer Unions New Release
 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued today shows that the number of central line-associated bloodstream infections in hospitals nationwide has been reduced markedly.  More modest reductions have been achieved in certain surgical site infections and urinary tract infections since the agency first started reporting national trend data three years ago. Read more...

   
   
 
   
 

Nile’s Project Names Ty Moss as CEO - Organization Steps Up Fight to Prevent Hospital-Acquired Infections Click Here for News Release

   
 
   
   
 
   
 
   
 
 
See Nile's Coalition in action! Use the links below to watch video highlights of our awareness concerts:
   
 
   
 
   
   
 
   
  Niles Law
 
   
 
   
  Dr. Tom Frieden, Dir. of the CDC/Atlanta
 
 

Carole and Ty discuss Patient Safety and Infection Prevention and Management with Dr. Tom Frieden as advocates for Rapid Detection initiatives.

   
 
   
  Drs. Cardo and Srinivasan
 
 

Sharing the message and experiences from healthcare workers, and patients about the need for rapid detection and aggressive treatment of Hospital Acquired Infections.

   
 
   
 
 
 

Lisa McGiffert  Campaign Manager for Safe Patient Project Consumers Union Fighting tirelessly for us all!