Daily Health Headlines

U.S. Hospitals Halve Catheter Infection Rates: Review

👤by HealthDay 0 comments 🕔Monday, November 21st, 2016

MONDAY, Nov. 21, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. hospitals have cut in half the number of potentially deadly bloodstream infections linked to so-called central-line catheters since 2008. But, too many critically ill patients are still exposed to dangerous bacteria, a new review from Consumer Reports contends.

Central-line catheters deliver medication, nutrients and fluids to a patient through one intravenous line (IV). While often lifesaving, these lines can also harbor germs when not handled properly, and then transmit those germs directly into the bloodstream of a patient, the Consumer Reports researchers said.

Once the bacteria have a foothold in the body, they can spread quickly and widely, and cause organ failure. And some of these bacteria are particularly virulent because they are resistant to antibiotics. Among the most dangerous: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

To gauge how well U.S. hospitals are doing in preventing these life-threatening infections, Consumer Reports looked at the five-year track records of nearly 2,000 teaching hospitals.

"Because teaching hospitals are teaching our next generation of physicians, we think it's critical to monitor them closely," said Doris Peter, director of the Health Ratings Center at Consumer Reports.

"Our review of their performance on controlling central-line infections is very sobering," Peter said in a news release from the organization.

"Central-line infections are highly preventable and there are no excuses for poor performance on this metric," Peter added. "It's unfortunate to see so many well-known hospitals, some who tout their top rankings and awards, sitting on the sidelines of one of the biggest triumphs in patient safety."

Peter pointed out that "hospitals are moving in the right direction, but progress is slowing and too many hospitals have not adequately addressed the problem over the past five years."

A safety checklist for central-line catheters -- similar to one used by pilots prior to takeoff -- was developed in 2001, and is still considered the gold standard, according to Consumer Reports. But not enough hospitals are following it, the new report said.

The good news is that central-line infection rates were sliced in half between 2008 and 2014, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Other hospital infection rates haven't moved much in recent years.

"It's one of the nation's greatest patient safety success stories ever," Dr. Arjun Srinivasan, associate director for Healthcare Associated Infection Prevention Programs at the CDC, said in the news release.

Still, close to 650,000 people develop infections while in U.S. hospitals each year, and 75,000 patients die, according to the CDC. Hospital-acquired infections are the eighth-leading cause of death, just behind diabetes, with central-line infections accounting for 5 percent of all hospital infections, the agency said.

While it's incumbent upon hospitals to provide safe environments for their patients, there are some things patients and their families can do to guard against central-line infections, according to Consumer Reports:

Check on your hospital's safety record using reliable internet sources. Have a friend or family member act as your advocate, asking questions and taking notes. Keep a record of what doctors and nurses say, which drugs you get and what questions you have. Insist on clean hands. Ask everyone who enters your room if they've washed their hands with soap and water. Bring bleach wipes for bed rails, doorknobs, the phone and the TV remote, all of which can harbor bacteria.

-- HealthDay staff

Article Credits / Source


HealthDay provides up to the minute breaking health news. Click here to view this full article from HealthDay.

SOURCE: Consumer Reports, news release, Nov. 21, 2016

View More Articles From HealthDay 🌎View Article Website

Sponsored Product

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

People who have trouble sleeping typically have low levels of melatonin, so melatonin supplements seem like a logical fix for insomnia. There is a high demand for sleep aids, especially in the U.S. The National Health Interview Survey done in 2002, and again in 2007, found 1.6 million US adults were using complementary and alternative sleep aids for insomnia. Lunar Sleep was a top choice. Use Promo Code: Sleep2014 and only pay $1.95 S&H.

Get Lunar Sleep for $1.95

More Infectious Disease Articles

FDA Scientists Develop Mouse Model for Zika Research

FDA Scientists Develop Mouse Model for Zika Research0

FRIDAY, Nov. 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A mouse strain developed by U.S. government scientists could help speed up research into vaccines and treatments for the Zika virus, researchers report. Newborn mice of the new strain created by U.S. ...

'Superbug' Common Among N.C. Hog Workers, Study Says

'Superbug' Common Among N.C. Hog Workers, Study Says0

FRIDAY, Nov. 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Some workers at hog production facilities in the United States have skin infections from drug-resistant "superbugs," researchers report. Hogs are given antibiotics to speed their growth. But, overuse of ...

Bagged Salads May Be Fertile Ground for Bacteria

Bagged Salads May Be Fertile Ground for Bacteria0

FRIDAY, Nov. 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Prepackaged salads may promote the growth of salmonella bacteria, researchers report. They found that even slight damage to leaves in salad bags released juices that encouraged the spread of ...

Zika No Longer 'Global Health Emergency,' WHO Says

Zika No Longer 'Global Health Emergency,' WHO Says0

FRIDAY, Nov. 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Zika, the mosquito-borne virus that can cause severe birth defects in the infants of infected mothers, is no longer a "global health emergency," the United Nation's World Health Organization (WHO) declared ...

More U.S. Kids Getting Drug-Resistant Infections

More U.S. Kids Getting Drug-Resistant Infections0

THURSDAY, Nov. 17, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Antibiotic-resistant infections are on the rise among American children, a new study finds. Researchers analyzed blood samples collected from kids aged 1 to 17 who received outpatient, inpatient, ...

View More Infectious Disease Articles


Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest health news as it breaks!

Your information will not be shared with anyone!