Tags: hospital | infection | drug | resistant | antibiotic | c | diff

Half of US Hospitals Fall Short in Combating Bacterial Infections

By    |   Friday, 24 April 2015 03:49 PM

Half of American hospitals aren't taking key steps to prevent a common bacterial infection that kills nearly 30,000 Americans a year and sickens hundreds of thousands more.

That’s the upshot of new research by University of Michigan Medical School and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System that found many hospitals aren’t doing what they can to protect their patients from life-threatening Clostridium difficile infections.

The study, published online in the journal Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, found that nearly all of the 398 hospitals tracked by researchers use a variety of measures to combat the infections. But 48 percent haven't adopted strict limits on the use of antibiotics and other drugs that can allow the dangerous bug to.

Hospital patients are especially vulnerable to C. diff infections, especially after they take antibiotics that disrupt healthy disease-fighting bacteria in their digestive systems. In addition to being present in bodily fluids, C. diff can form spores that can persist in the hospital environment for weeks.

"C. diff infection over the last decade has emerged as a threat to patients, especially the most vulnerable and the elderly, and has increased in incidence and severity," said lead researcher Sanjay Saint, M.D.

"There are many ways to try to limit the spread, and from our data it looks like hospitals are aware of the evidence behind them and acting on many where they believe the evidence is strong. But the one area where there's a major disconnect between evidence and practice is … limiting antibiotics to use only when necessary. This is a real opportunity for improvement."

The White House has set a goal of reducing C. diff infections by 50 percent by 2020, as part of its National Strategy for Combatting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also targeted C. diff as a key threat to public health.

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Many American hospitals aren't taking recommended steps to prevent a common bacterial infection that kills nearly 30,000 Americans a year and sickens hundreds of thousands more.
hospital, infection, drug, resistant, antibiotic, c, diff
Friday, 24 April 2015 03:49 PM
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