Posts tagged: mrsa

Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria: A Catastrophic Threat

We turn on the news and see constant reports of nations fighting with other nations. But recently, the threat of antibiotic resistance is finally being recognized by world leaders for the major threat that it is; a “nightmare” as the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recently called it.

A “catastrophic threat as serious as terrorism,” was how Sally Davies, the U.K.’s Chief Medical Officer, described the urgency of the situation in a report that was recently released on antibiotic resistance. In an interview, she warned of the grim circumstances we will face unless we act urgently, where healthcare will be similar to that of the early 19th century; a place where minor and routine surgeries will become life-threatening.

Pic Via WikiComons

Professor Dame Sally Davies, the U.K.'s chief medical officer.

The lengthy report, co-written by U.K. researchers and representatives of the U.K.’s Health Protection Agency, attributes resistance almost entirely to antibiotics.

Antibiotic resistance poses a catastrophic threat to medicine and could mean patients having minor surgery risk dying from infections that can no longer be treated.

Antibiotics have typically been used as prophylaxis to prevent healthcare-associated infections in patients undergoing routine hip-replacement surgeries since the advent of the procedure. In a recent article, it was investigated how dramatic of an impact the removal of antibiotics would have on the population of patients undergoing routine hip-replacement surgery. It was found that with the removal of antibiotics, postoperative infection rates would increase by up to 50% and deaths by up to 30%.

In other words, just as the largest and most athletic generation history has ever seen would be reaching the age where such surgery is needed, approximately one-sixth of individuals undergoing the routine procedure might die if antibiotic resistance continues to go unchecked.

Over the past two decades, antibiotics have undergone what is known as a “discovery void,” meaning that diseases have evolved faster than the drugs used to treat them. There are several things that can be done to help in the fight against antibiotic resistance, including increased surveillance to keep track of resistant superbugs, proper use of antibiotics, putting more of a focus on the development of new antibiotics, and engaging in the prevention of infections.

It is going to take a collaborative effort to curb antibiotic resistance. Society needs to become more aware of the serious threat of infections and antibiotic resistance. It astonishes me how few people still recognize how serious of a problem these things are. People need to know that antibiotics won’t help with the common cold; by hounding your doctor for a prescription, you are essentially contributing to antibiotic resistance. We need to be aware of the lessons others learned the hard way—like how I lost my father to these preventable superbugs—so that we can pave the way for a safer future.

We’re living in a world consumed by blockbuster zombie thrillers, terrorism, and nuclear threats, but the fact of the matter is that antibiotic resistance is something that we need to worry about here and now. These resistant microbes truly pose a catastrophic treat, as they do not discriminate upon race, religion, country of birth, or any such distinguishing factor we as human beings many impose upon one another.

MRSA Superbug Found In 20% of Dental Students

Bacteria are everywhere. This may creep out the Purell enthusiasts among you, but there’s just no other way to put it. Bacteria live in your food, they crawl over subway poles, Starbucks tables, and, unless you Cloroxed it in the last two minutes, your kitchen counter. They even live inside you.

There are good and bad kinds of bacteria. Good bacteria are the kinds that live in your non-fat Greek yogurt. Bad bacteria are the kind that makes you sick.

Staphylococcus aureus is a staph bacterium commonly found in the nose. In certain cases, certain strains become resistant to antibiotics, resulting in Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This is like the Darth Vader of infections. You do not want to get it, especially if you’re a patient about to get surgery. In fact, MRSA is commonly found in hospitals, a study found that 1 in 3 nurse bags carry this deadly superbug. Read more »

Hopes Are Up As MRSA Related Deaths Go Down

According to the latest news from The Guardian, death certificates mentioning MRSA have fallen steadily in the past 5 years. The UK, known for its accurate and thorough reporting, has crunched us the facts to reveal patterns of decline, as noted in the graph below. In 2010, there were 485 reported deaths from MRSA – or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus – whereas 2011 counted only 364, as released by the Office for National Statistics. The antibiotic resistant bacteria MRSA has in recent years been repeatedly targeted by government policies, and the attention has not gone unnoticed. A Welsh government spokesperson stressed the effort being made to lighten the bug’s yearly blow: “We will work with healthcare organisations to ensure that they have robust, sustainable infection prevention and control measures in place and that staff have the skills, knowledge and resources to provide care in a safe environment.” Just miles away, Simon Burns, England’s Health Minister praised that “The news that MRSA deaths are lower than at any point in the last 15 years is a testament to the hard work and dedication of NHS staff across the country.” Read more »

MRSA Infections Kill More People Each Year Than AIDS

For the many lives impacted by MRSA each year, it often comes as a bit of a shock to learn that MRSA infections kill more people annually in the United States than AIDS.  I personally found this shocking because I had heard so much about AIDS in school and in the media throughout my life, yet I had heard so little about MRSA when my dad died because of it in 2008. While approximately 18,000 individuals succumb to AIDS each year in the United States, another 18,650 lose their lives to MRSA infections.

MRSA is a term used to describe the several stains of Staphylococcus aureus that have become resistant to certain antibiotic treatments, meaning that they are harder to treat and especially threatening for individuals with compromised immune systems. MRSA is a common healthcare-associated infection, an infection acquired while receiving medical care, and is also a common cause of sepsis if allowed to enter the bloodstream. Read more »

Post-Operative Hospital Readmission on the Rise

Think you’re safe and sound once you’ve been released from the hospital? Think again. Several recently released studies have found an alarming trend that appears to be occurring among individuals seeking medical treatment: post-operative readmission.

One study found that within 30 days of being discharged, 1 in 12 patients were readmitted to an inpatient hospital bed. This analysis, conducted by the Canadian Institute for Health Information concluded that over 180,000 Canadian patients were readmitted as a result of unforeseen circumstances in 2010. The most common causes for readmission were surgical wound infections, severe pain, and heart failure. For pediatric patients, the most common causes of hospital readmission included respiratory infection and pneumonia. Among surgical patients, it was found that nearly 1 in 10 patients were brought back to the hospital as a result of post-operative infection, commonly caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria such as MRSA. The findings among obstetric patients were even more startling: approximately 1 in every 4 patients were readmitted due to infection following a Caesarean section.

Socioeconomic factors found to be influential in this study included neighborhood income and location: individuals from lower-income areas, as well as those from rural areas, tended to face a higher risk of readmission. Another important factor for readmission found in this study was length of stay: those that deviated from the expected length of stay were found to be predictors for readmission. Other factors included age, preexisting conditions, and gender—male patients were slightly more likely to be readmitted than female patients.

Read more »

MRSA USA300: Flesh-eating Bug Commonly Spread On Buses And Trains

The community-acquired bacteria has evolved further, and is able to maintain a higher level of toxicity while also resisting treatment from antibiotics, making it a much larger problem- Journal of Infectious Diseases

The highly infectious strain, MRSA USA300 , is resistant to many front-line antibiotics and has now been discovered in public places, such as buses and trains. Though people can avoid direct contact with a sneeze or cough, Professor Thomas from the University of Birmingham highlights the possibility of becoming infected from touching surfaces.  In this way, every day settings and public surfaces act as viable means to contract an infection.  According to the Daily Mail, MRSA USA300 has been called “flesh-eating” due to its ability to lead to large skin boils, abscesses, blood poisoning and even fatal forms of pneumonia that destroy lung tissue.

The Daily Mail reports Dr. Ruth Massey of the Department of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Bath warns people to take care in guarding against MRSA, especially strains that carry genes for Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL). This cytotoxin can destroy white blood cells and cause extensive tissue necrosis. According to Massey, more than a thousand PVL positive-community-acquired cases were reported in England last year. Of these, 1 in 5 were caused by the USA300 strain. Read more »

MRSA Outbreak In One Hospital Can Spread To All Hospitals

It is often that hospitals in a region share patients. Up until now, most studies on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have focused on one hospital or a small group of hospitals. A recent study published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology shows the impact of a MRSA outbreak on all hospitals in a large metropolitan county. It was found that an outbreak of MRSA at one hospital can impact other hospitals in the same area.

The study used extensive data collected from Orange County, California. Collectively, the hospitals in Orange County serve a population of 3.1 million people. An agent-based model was used to simulate patient movement throughout 29 Orange County hospitals. Valuable information was gained from the results of this study. It was found that increasing MRSA prevalence at a single hospital resulted in an up to 46% increase in relative MRSA prevalence at other hospitals.  This is cause for great concern as a MRSA outbreak at one hospital can affect all hospitals in the area. Hospitals therefore should not consider themselves an “island”, but part of an interconnected system.

Read more »

APIC Weighs in with 2nd Edition MRSA Treatment Guidelines

A few weeks back I wrote about the new (first) IDSA guidelines on MRSA treatment in hospitals. Not to be outdone, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control (APIC) has now released its second edition guidelines for MRSA treatment. APIC first put out guidelines on MRSA back in 2007, and with the recent explosion of MRSA-related research it was high time to take another look at new evidence and best practices in the field. Read more »

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Staypressed theme by Themocracy