An experimental vaccine
designed to ward off potentially deadly staph infections is showing
promise in animal studies.
That's good news. According to the Centers for Disease Control,
drug resistant super bugs kill thousands of people every year. Most
are patients who get infected while they are in the hospital!
It's a dangerous problem that is prompting germ crackdown campaigns
in medical centers across the country.
It's a lesson taught early on.
"Handwashing is a great way to prevent
the transmission of diseases!"
But these days, school isn't the only place promoting the ABC's of
good hand hygiene!
Purell and that was a good job
At Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina, the halls
are monitored by the germ patrol!
"I go from basically floor to floor observing staff
watching to see if they're compliant with hand hygiene."
Sanitizers are stocked at every stop and catchy
reminders are posted on computers.
Presbyterian is among a growing number of medical institutions
pushing rigorous hand hygiene as a strategy to combat the growing
problem of hospital acquired infections.
"Infection can complicate their treatment, it can prolong their
hospitalization, it can put them at greater risk."
Research published in the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences
S. aureus, often referred to simply as "Staph," is common,
found on the skin and in the noses of an estimated 30 percent of
people worldwide. It is a frequent source of skin
infections, which can usually be treated without antibiotics, but
it can also cause serious surgical wound infections, bloodstream
and bone infections, or pneumonia.
Physicians are particularly
concerned about S. aureus because of its ability to survive in the
presence of antibiotics designed to kill it. In 1972,
according to the Centers for Disease Control, only two percent of
S. aureus infections were drug-resistant. By 2004, 63 percent had
learned to resist the antibiotics commonly used to treat them.
Consumers Union: www.stophospitalinfections.orgwww.stophospitalinfections.org.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Association for Professionals in Infection
Control and Epidemiology: www.preventinfection.org
States with Laws Requiring Public Reporting of
Hospital Infection Rates: Connecticut Florida Illinois Maryland
Missouri New Hampshire New York Pennsylvania Rhode Island South
Carolina Tennessee Virginia Vermont
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