A Chicago hospital group managed to reduce superbug infections and the CDC (Center for Diseases Control) wants to apply the method nationally.
The hospital group stated they successfully reduced the number of cases by half. On Friday March 27, the White House also required the CDC to find a strategy that could help reduce the number of superbug infection cases by half until the year 2020. Another target set by the White House is the decrease in antibiotic abuse in humans and animals, a procedure that increases the risk of bacteria developing resistance to various antibiotics, even those usually considered very potent.
The CDC will use the same method applied by the Chicago Prevention Epicenter, one of the five CDC funded projects which also monitors the scientific activity among local scientists and public health officials.
The aim of the Chicago study was focused on “four long-term acute care hospitals” which reported increased rates of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (also known as CRE or “nightmare bacteria” which are hard to treat even when using the strongest of all antibiotics.
CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a statement:
“When it comes to antimicrobial resistance, for many of the threats that we face, we know what to do. We just need to get it done.”
The project consisted of examining all patients for CRE infections when admitted and once again after two weeks. The ones who were identified with CRE were isolated and taken to private rooms or in a ward with other patients infected with the superbug.
Healthcare professionals involved in treating the CRE-infected patients wore protective gowns and used some procedures also applied in Ebola cases. All patients diagnosed with CRE were bathed chlorhexidine gluconate, an antiseptic used frequently in hospitals. This strategy was applied for three years. Dr. Michael Lin, an infectious disease expert at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago explained that the results were encouraging – a 50 percent decrease in CRE cases.
He also pointed out that some of these protective measures may not be applied to average hospitals in the United Stated but said this strategy could help the CDC complete the goals established by the White House.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), antibiotic resistance is a global emergency, with 2 million severe infections and 23,000 annual deaths only in the United States.
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