One of the biggest problems seen by United States hospitals right now is infections. Despite the medical experts’ and officials’ best efforts, infections keep popping in hospitals. With a large number of these infections being caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria, it’s not uncommon for the unfortunates that happen to catch them to enter sepsis, then septic shock, and to eventually die.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a press release urging doctors and other medical care experts to be more careful, as they are the key to eliminating the abnormally high rates of infections developed in nationwide hospitals and health care centers.
With the CDC concerned about antibiotic-resistant infections appearing in hospitals despite efforts made by hospital caretakers to prevent this, they can only hope that health care centers know what they’re doing. Despite progress being made in some area, it’s clearly not nearly enough.
Infections in hospitals
Over 700,000 patients are infected by bacteria while in American hospitals each year and as many as 75,000 of them end up dying. This isn’t necessarily because of poor practices, although they do contribute in a measure, but mostly because of bacteria developing antibiotic resistant capabilities.
In short-term acute care hospitals, about one in seven infections is caused by these bacteria, while in long term health centers the number of people infected by antibiotic-resistant bacteria rises to one in four. Despite these concerning numbers, the situation is actually improving.
Between 2008 and 2014 there has been a 50% decline in the number of infections generated by catheters, a 17% decline in infections caused by the surgical site, an 8 percent decrease in those caused by the Clostridium difficile bacteria, while the infections caused by urinary catheters stagnated.
The top antibiotic resistant bacteria responsible for hospital-level infections are Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae, Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, Multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter.
Ways of prevention
In their attempts to stop these infections from occurring, the CDC made an appeal to nation-wide health care providers. They urge doctors and nurses to make sure that all procedures take place under sterile and safe environments, that they refrain from using catheters unless absolutely necessary, and that they make sure that antibiotics are used properly.
The patients are also responsible for keeping infections at bay by doing a very simple thing – obeying the laws of common sense. Washing your hands after using the restroom and before eating, covering your mouth while coughing or sneezing, and all other unspoken rules of being a decent person can totally make a difference.
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