New Data Show Infection Rates Still Too High in U.S. Hospitals

March 16, 2016

Although hospitals are making strides in avoiding central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), a report released today shows patients are still experiencing these ser

Biofilms & Catheters: The Mechanisms of Infection

February 1, 2016

Biofilms, or colonies of bacteria growing on surfaces and medical devices, can inflict intractable or recurring disease. During colonization, biofilms develop characteristics and behaviors more dangerous and powerful than those of planktonic (singleton) bacteria. In fact, these insidious microscopic collectives could be regarded as biological case studies in “strength in numbers” as they unify against external assault, resisting the host immune response as well as antimicrobials, and exact their high human and fiscal costs. Puzzlingly, although biofilms are a ubiquitous, well documented cause of infection, they receive only a modicum of the attention they clearly merit.

Variability in Barrier Precautions Use Raises Red Flag About Arterial Catheter Infection Risk

November 23, 2015

An expert in medical device-related infections is trying to raise awareness of the variability that exists in following guidelines designed to help prevent catheter-associated infections, particularly in arterial catheters (ACs) used in intensive care units (ICUs) and operating rooms (ORs). Leonard A. Mermel, DO, ScM, medical director of the epidemiology and infection control department at Rhode Island Hospital, and his colleagues recently published results of a survey (Cohen, et al. 2015)  showing significant variability regarding how clinicians manage arterial catheters in ICU patients and that these practices may increase risk of infection.

New Technique Could Prevent Dangerous Biofilms on Catheters

November 17, 2015

Biofilms frequently coat the surfaces of catheters, and of various medical implants and prostheses, where they can cause life-threatening infections. New research at the Sahlgrenska Academy show that coating implants with a certain "activator" can prevent Staphylococcus aureus, the leading cause of hospital-acquired infections, from forming biofilms.