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Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Kill Tens Of Thousands Each Year

Antimicrobial resistance is a world-wide problem and increases the difficulty a variety of infections. In the United States, the major threat that is faced each day by millions of Americans every year is posed by bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Studies to obtain precise estimates for all types of resistant infections is ongoing, but we do know that every year, almost 90,000 people become ill with infections caused by one of these resistant bacteria—methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA. Of these people, over 15,000 die.

Tremendously effective strategies have been developed to prevent infections, especially those likely to be caused by resistant bacteria. Readers of this blog are very familiar with the wide range of evidence-based, proven-effective interventions that reduce the incidence of infections and prevent the transmission of dangerous pathogens between people, especially hospitalized patients who are most at risk.

But a critical strategy for preventing the development of drug resistance in bacteria is to use antibiotics carefully and judiciously. Scientists have known for 70 years, Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Safe Healthcare*

Is Your Cell Phone Carrying Bacteria?

Alright doctors, time to give up the cell phones. (Never mind that there has not been a study linking cell phones and hospital acquired infections).

From the American Journal of Infection Control:

A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine bacterial colonization on the mobile phones (MPs) used by patients, patients’ companions, visitors, and health care workers (HCWs). Significantly higher rates of pathogens (39.6% vs 20.6%, respectively; P = .02) were found in MPs of patients’ (n = 48) versus the HCWs’ (n = 12). There were also more multidrug pathogens in the patents’ MPs including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli, and Klebsiella spp, high-level aminoglycoside-resistant Enterococcus spp, and carabepenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumanii. Our findings suggest that mobile phones of patients, patients’ companions, and visitors represent higher risk for nosocomial pathogen colonization than those of HCWs. Specific infection control measures may be required for this threat.

What specific measures might they consider?

They better be careful what they wish for or they might also have to take away all those dirty EMR computer keyboards, too.

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*

Diagnosising Sepsis In Under An Hour

Because current sepsis tests can take up to two days to provide a diagnosis, many patients fail to receive proper treatment until it is too late.

However, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology hope to improve survival rates with the MinoLab, a new testing platform which they claim will be able to provide results in under an hour. The MinoLab uses magnetic nanoparticles to carry the analyte through multiple reaction chambers before providing a final diagnosis.

More from the announcement:

Dr. Dirk Kuhlmeier, a scientist at the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, explains how all that works: “After taking a sample of blood, magnetic nanoparticles bind themselves to the target cells in the blood sample through specific catcher molecules. We then use a simple magnet to transfer the particles onto the plastic card along with the pathogens and move them through various miniaturized reaction chambers which is where the polymerase chain reaction takes place. This is a method for copying even the smallest DNA sequences of pathogens millions of times. After it is copied, the nanoparticles transport the pathogen DNA into the detection chamber where a new type of magnetoresistive biochip can identify pathogens and antibiotics resistances.”

Link: Fast sepsis test can save lives…

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

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Latest Book Reviews

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

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