Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Utterly Unsexy Good News. . .But I'll Take It!

In today's perilous times, even our "good news" comes from a depressing and utterly unsexy context. But I'll take it.

According to the CDC, the rate of infection from MSRA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, among patients in Intensive-Care Units has dropped by 50 percent over the last decade. The most dangerous, antibiotic-resistent staph infections impact hospital patients at much higher rates than the broader community.

Here's a clip from the Time.Com article:

According to national data from 1997 to 2007, the overall rate of MRSA infections among some of the most vulnerable patients in a hospital — those in the intensive-care unit (ICU) — dropped by nearly 50%. That downward trend was true of all bloodstream infections among ICU patients, including infections with strains of staph that can be controlled with antibiotics, reports Dr. Deron Burton, a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Public Health Service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in a study in the Feb. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Update: BB-Idaho has ruined the Utterly Unsexy Good News....Apparently, the bacteria are zapping fewer hospital patients, but taking over the poor little innocent children. Bummer.


BB-Idaho said...

Down in the ICU, but ..microbes go where the action is, I guess...

FLRN said...

February 17, 2009 8:04 PM
FLRN said...
This is in large part to the concerted efforts of the national Institute for Healthcare Improvement in conjunction with the VHA in a collaborative effort to reduce nosocomial infection rates within the ICU for such threats as Central Line infections and VAP (Ventilator Acquired Pneumonia). The IHI has focused health care attention with the national program known as"5 Million Lives Campaign" to reduce the spread of infection. Since identifying concerns in 2001, the IHI has influenced change for the early identification and response of treatments for nosocomial infections within the ICU settings. Improvements in ventilated care management have been given top billing by most all hospitals involved in the project, as facility to facility, caregivers organize a collaborative effort of medical faculty and nursing staff to "attack" the issue. VAP concerns have been linked to the highest levels of mortality and morbidity for a special ICU population - identified by health care pundits and seasoned care givers as 'the sickest of the sick' - the ventilated patient. Early detection and rapid response to clinical indicators for MRSA and similar infections are the most effective weapons of defense in the fight against these "super bugs"(such as Staphylococcus aureus followed by Pseudomonas aeruginosa , Haemophilus influenzae Klebsiella ).
Research indicates VAP is determined to be the leading cause of death among hospital acquired infections with associated care costs to the institution estimated to be in the thousands of dollars per facility for even a single case. Without question VAP and required treatment can result in extensively prolonged hospitalizations and is a driving factor in increased LOS and ICU overcrowding nationwide. As you mention in your post, ICU care is becoming less of the problem, but the problem does in fact exist throughout the rest of the health care setting - on the IMC, telemetry floors and on Medical/ Surgical units -everywhere else.
I will assert we have made significant progress ~"but it isn't fixed yet!"~ Rapid response involves having a provider and a nurse in place to deliver timely care - nurse to patient ratios across the country are dangerously inadequate for proper care delivery in the acute care setting. If you are looking for an issue to fix, health care delivery is certainly broken and could use some attention! Unfortunately most Americans and almost all lawmakers will only recognize this issue when they themselves become the patient, and by then it will be too late.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Well, it looks like FLRN has put the RN onto DJ. Thanks for the input!

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