CDC Launches Campaign to Prevent Antimicrobial Resistance

CDC Launches Campaign to Prevent Antimicrobial Resistance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a campaign aimed at clinicians called the "Prevent Antimicrobial Resistance." The campaign focuses on four key strategies for preventing antimicrobial resistance in healthcare settings:

1. Preventing infection

2. Diagnosing and treating infection effectively

3. Using antimicrobials wisely

4. Preventing transmission of drug-resistant pathogens

Within these strategies are 12 action steps derived from evidenced-based guidelines and recommendations developed by the CDC that clinicians can take to prevent antimicrobial resistance in hospitalized adults.

"Clinicians are always on the go and are bombarded with lots of information about preventing infections," says Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, director of the CDC's program to promote healthcare quality. "CDC is trying to simplify things by presenting the best practices in simple terms that easily can be recalled and followed by fronting clinicians to protect patients and prevent antimicrobial resistance in healthcare settings."

The action steps include:

Action Step 1: Vaccinate

Action Step 2: Get the catheters out

Action Step 3: Target the pathogen

Action Step 4: Access the experts

Action Step 5: Practice antimicrobial control

Action Step 6: Use local data

Action Step 7: Treat infection, not contamination

Action Step 8: Treat infection, not colonization

Action Step 9: Know when to say "no" to vanco(mycin)

Action Step 10: Stop antimicrobial treatment when infection is treated or unlikely

Action Step 11: Isolate the pathogen

Action Step 12: Break the chain of contagion

CDC is partnering with professional medical organizations, including the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Society for Microbiology, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, national medical centers and other healthcare institutions to distribute, implement and evaluate campaign materials. The materials include a slide set, posters, brochures and a pocket-sized clinician reminder card listing the 12 action steps. The campaign also features a Web site (

Antimicrobial-resistant infections in healthcare settings are a major threat to patient safety. Each year in the United States an estimated 2 million hospitalized people acquire infections that result in more 90,000 deaths. More than half of these infections are caused by bacteria that are resistant to at least one of the antimicrobial commonly used to treat those infections, according to CDC.

The CDC is making available a pocket-sized clinician reminder card listing the 12 action steps of the "Prevent Antimicrobial Resistance" campaign.

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