• 48°

Decontaminating patients cuts hospital infections

CHICAGO (AP) — Infections in U.S. hospitals kill tens of thousands of people each year, and many institutions fight back by screening new patients to see if they carry a dangerous germ, and isolating those who do. But a big study suggests a far more effective approach: Decontaminating every patient in intensive care.
Washing everyone with antiseptic wipes and giving them antibiotic nose ointment reduced bloodstream infections dramatically in the study at more than 40 U.S. hospitals.
The practice could prove controversial, because it would involve even uninfected patients and because experts say it could lead to germs becoming more resistant to antibiotics. But it worked better than screening methods, now required in nine states.
The study found that 54 patients would need to be decontaminated to prevent one bloodstream infection.
Nevertheless, the findings are “very dramatic” and will lead to changes in practice and probably new laws, said Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University infectious-disease specialist who was not involved in the research. Some hospitals are already on board.
The study targeted ICU patients, who tend to be older, sicker, weaker and most likely to be infected with dangerous bacteria, including drug-resistant staph germs.
The decontamination method worked like this: For up to five days, 26,000 ICU patients got a nose swab twice a day with bacteria-fighting ointment, plus once-daily bathing with antiseptic wipes.
Afterward, they were more than 40 percent less likely to get a bloodstream infection of any type than patients who had been screened and isolated for a dangerous germ called MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
In the year before the experiment began, there were 950 bloodstream infections in intensive care patients at the hospitals studied. The results suggest that more than 400 of those could have been prevented if all hospitals had used the decontamination method.
“We’ve definitively shown that it is better to target high-risk people,” not high-risk germs, said lead author Dr. Susan Huang, a researcher and infectious-disease specialist at the University of California, Irvine.
The hospitals in the study are all part of the Hospital Corporation of America system, the nation’s largest hospital chain. An HCA spokesman said the 162-hospital company is adopting universal ICU decontamination. The study was published online Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Comments

Comments closed.

Crime

Blotter: Feb. 26

Crime

Salisbury, Kannapolis men charged with soliciting sexual acts

News

Racial bias ‘deeply entrenched’ in report critical of Apex Police Department

Nation/World

US bombs facilities in Syria used by Iran-backed militia

Elections

City council again dismisses idea of adding new member, focus now on recommendation to delay elections

Business

‘Let’s make some money:’ Loosened restrictions praised by bar owners, baseball team

High School

Salisbury High bucks historical trend in dominant shutout of West Rowan

Enochville

Garage declared total loss after Enochville fire

Crime

Cooper, N.C. prison officials agree to release 3,500 inmates

Coronavirus

Two more COVID-19 deaths reported in Rowan, six for the week

Crime

Blotter: Man brandishes AR-15, runs over motorcycle at Rockwell-area gas station

Crime

Salisbury man charged with exploitation of minor

Crime

Road rage incident results in assault charges

Local

Dukeville lead testing results trickle in, more participation needed

Education

Faith Academy interviewing staff, preparing site for fall opening

News

Volunteers work around obstacles, alter procedures to offer free tax services to those in need

Education

Education shoutouts

Local

Retired Marine gets recognition for toy collection efforts

Local

March issue of Salisbury the Magazine is now available

Education

Five get Dunbar School Heritage Scholarships

Education

Education briefs: Salisbury Academy fourth-graders think big as inventors

Education

Bakari Sellers keynote speaker at Livingstone College Founder’s Day program

Nation/World

Biden aims to distribute masks to millions in ‘equity’ push

Nation/World

Chief: Capitol Police were warned of violence before riot