CDC: Coordination Could Cut Drug-resistant Infections By Half

Medical Team
Photo Courtesy: UPI

ATLANTA, Aug. 5 (UPI) — Increased communication between healthcare providers and more careful prescription of antibiotics could save more than 37,000 lives over the next 5 years with basic improvements in practice, according to a new set of recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Antibiotic resistant germs cause more than 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths per year, and C. difficile causes about half a million illnesses and 15,000 deaths.

“Antibiotic resistant infections in health care settings are a growing threat in the United States, killing thousands and thousands of people each year,” Frieden said in a press release. “We can dramatically reduce these infections if health care facilities, nursing homes, and public health departments work together to improve antibiotic use and infection control so patients are protected.”

CDC researchers looked at four healthcare-associated infections — carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, multidrug-resistant Psuedomonas aeruginosa, invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and C. difficile. They found there were about 310,000 infections in 2011 and that, without action, that number would climb to about 340,000 within 5 years. With systemic changes, however, 619,000 infections could be avoided and more than 37,000 lives saved.

Improving communication between care providers, such as the specialists at a hospital informing care personnel at a nursing home of the treatments and steps necessary for a patient, could save lives once a framework for sharing information is put in place.

“A patient is hospitalized and they may have multiple medications, multiple specialists that they need to see,” Mary Lou Manning, president of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, told NBC News. “No one is really driving the boat. It is very often up to the patient to have to do that and coordinate all these various aspects.”

The CDC recommendations focus on care coordination, including dedicating staff to identify and build relationships with other facilities in the area, implementing systems to better alert providers that patients carrying drug-resistant germs are on the way, and better awareness between public health agencies and facilities about anti-biotic resistant germs and other health threats in their areas. The CDC says these efforts could “cut the incidence of C. difficile, health care CRE, and MRSA bloodstream infections by at least half.”

“If you’re a hospital doing a great job but the hospital down the street isn’t, your patients are at risk,” Frieden said during a phone call with reporters. “Facilities that go it alone can’t protect their own patients.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here