General HAIs

Taking Infection Prevention Beyond the Basics

January 8, 2015

Sometimes the most commonly used tools for stopping infections are not quite enough to combat the ongoing struggle against hospital-acquired infections. As outlined in the recent Consumer Reports article, “Deadly hospital infections are still too common,” prevention measures such as hand hygiene, wound care and limiting use of central lines and urinary catheters are hugely important. But infection control can and should go far beyond these steps. One million Americans suffer from hospital-acquired infections each year – with a mortality rate of 100,000 per year and a price tag many times that, healthcare facilities must take advantage of every available tool to control and reduce the spread of disease.

In the Age of Ebola, Three Infection Control Considerations for Every Hospital

November 10, 2014

By all accounts, Ebola—the disease that has long struck fear in us as images of suffering in sub-Sahara Africa fill our TV screens and movies depict uncontrolled outbreaks—has now become a very real pandemic that is wiping out villages and rapidly crossing borders. As I write this article, the virus has killed nearly 5,000 people with thousands more infected. The United Nations estimates that it will need more than $1 billion to fight the epidemic and President Obama has already begun sending an estimated 4,000 U.S. military personnel and many more military medical staff to train the thousands of healthcare providers who will be needed to care for patients and prevent transmission of the disease.

Horizontal Versus Vertical: Two Approaches to HAI Prevention

November 10, 2014

Two approaches to infection prevention that are being used in hospitals today bear continued scrutiny as multidrug-resistant organisms proliferate, emphasize experts writing in a recent commentary in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. Edward Septimus, MD, of the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and of Hospital Corporation of America in Nashville, Tenn. and his co-authors urge clinicians to carefully consider the clinical advantages and cost-related disadvantages to each strategy.