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    Monday, May 10, 2010

    The Latest Opinions In Preventing Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAIs)

    The US is contending with a growing "problem that cost billions of" dollars: hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). Some "100,000 people die with hospital transmitted infections every year." Now, two new studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine "demonstrate that simple measures could dramatically reduce the number of hospital-acquired infections."
            Indeed, many hospitals throughout the nation have already launched campaigns against HAIs, including programs that encourage "stepped-up hand-washing by doctors and nurses. The new studies looked at the bacteria patients may be carrying before entering the hospital, especially...Staphylococcus aureus. The lead author of the first study explained that "about one-third of people at any one time carry this bacterium in their nose or on their skin," and "it does not give them any problem." But, if "they go to a hospital and the skin is somehow breached, they are really prone to invasion or infection by their own bacteria."
            With that in mind, a team at the Erasmus University Medical Center set about identifying which patients scheduled for surgery carried the bacteria in their nostrils. Once identified, using a rapid test, patients either received placebo treatment or Bactroban (mupirocin), an antibiotic nose gel, and daily baths with chlorhexidine.
            Over the course of six weeks, "about 3% of the treated group had staph infections, compared to about 8% in the dummy treatment group.. The "treatment also cut average hospital stays by two days." Meanwhile, researchers in the US aimed to find an alternative to "the reddish-brown iodine solution that's been used for decades to swab the skin before an operation."
            In the second study, a team at Baylor College "randomly assigned 849 surgical patients, scheduled for clean-contaminated surgery in six hospitals, to have either a chlorhexidine/alcohol scrub or a scrub and paint with povidone-iodine.. In short, the former "reduced infections by 41% compared with povidone-iodine."
            What's more, the method used by the Texas team is "'much more effective, very simple, and very inexpensive,' compared to that reported by the Dutch group," according to an accompanying editorial. There is, however, "no barrier to both methods being used in people at high risk of infection after surgery, such as those with compromised immune systems.".

    Please remember, as with all our articles we provide information, not medical advice. For any treatment of your own medical condition you must visit your local doctor, with or without our article[s]. These articles are not to be taken as individual medical advice.

    Deepen your understanding of "medical malpractice"...

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