Unit Based Champions Infection Prevention eBug Bytes. November 2012. Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Serotype Bovismorbificans Infections Associated with Hummus and Tahini - 2011.
Unit Based ChampionsInfection PreventioneBug Bytes
Current hospital cleaning protocol may be inadequate to rid patient rooms of multidrug-resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter baumannii, according to a study in the December issue of the American Journal of Infection Control APIC).
A team of researchers from the University of Maryland collected 487 cultures from 32 hospital rooms occupied by just-discharged patients with a known history of MDR A. baumannii both before and after terminal cleaning of the rooms. Over half of the rooms positive for the A. baumannii bacteria prior to cleaning remained contaminated after terminal cleaning had occurred. Fifteen rooms (46.9 percent) and 41 sites (n=268, 15.3 percent) tested positive for MDR A. baumannii before cleaning. Post-cleaning, eight rooms (25 percent) and 12 sites (n=219, 5.5 percent) still tested positive for the pathogen.
Sites with post-cleaning contamination included the floor (12.5 percent), call button (10 percent), door handle (9.4 percent) bedside table (7.4 percent), and supply cart (3.8 percent).
“The effect of terminal cleaning on environmental contamination rates of multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter Baumannii” by Paula Strassle, Kerri A. Thom, J. Kristie Johnson, Surbhi Leekha, Matthew Lissauer, Jingkun Zhu and Anthony D. Harris appears in the American Journal of Infection Control, Volume 40, Issue 10 (December 2012
Flu season arrived early this year. according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it's shaping up to be a bad one. CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden announced today that Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas have reported enough seasonal flu cases to officially mark the beginning of the flu season. "We're seeing the beginning of the uptick start at least a month before we'd generally see it," Frieden said, explaining that flu rates typically start to rise in early January.
Missouri and Georgia are also well on their way to meeting the critical threshold number of cases. And as the season progresses, the infection is expected to spread across the nation.
"It looks like it's shaping up to be a bad flu season," Frieden said, explaining that the predominant flu subtype being passed around - H3N2 - is known to cause more severe illness. H3N2 was the predominant subtype in 2003-2004, the last time the flu season arrived this early.
But there's some good news: It appears the circulating strains are "a great match" for this year's vaccine, according to Frieden.
As hospitals in recent years have stepped up their efforts to persuade the public to get annual flu vaccinations, their employees haven't always heeded the call. But federal health authorities believe that hospital workers who are anywhere near patients should be vaccinated for their welfare, as well as patients'. And with the government dangling the carrot of Medicare reimbursement money, hospital administrators are wielding the stick.
The list of staff affected by these policies is broad. It includes not only doctors and nurses and others directly involved in patient care but also housekeeping and maintenance workers.
The Joint Commission, the top healthcare accreditation agency in the nation, this year enacted a plan to have hospitals train and educate their staffs about the benefits of flu vaccines.
Although it is not demanding mandatory vaccinations, the commission is requiring hospitals to show they are progressing toward 90 percent compliance by 2020.
In a study, believed to be the first multi-university study to assess seasonal flu vaccine coverage, a total of 4,090 college students participated in a confidential, web-based survey in late October and November 2009 regarding whether they had received a flu shot.
Overall, 20 percent of the students reported they had been vaccinated during a year in which significant media attention focused on both seasonal and H1N1 flu. The seasonal vaccine coverage varied across the eight universities from 14 percent to 30 percent, which was considerably less than half of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' 2020 Healthy People goal of 80 percent coverage for healthy persons 18 to 64 years of age.
In addition, the researchers found that students more often reported receiving the vaccine from a private physician or clinic rather than from student health services, even though it was available free of charge.
Co-authors of the study are Jill Blocker, MS, Edward Ip, PhD, Timothy Peters, MD and Mark Wolfson, PhD, of Wake Forest Baptist.
David M. Kwiatkowski, 33, a former employee of Exeter Hospital, has been indicted for his alleged role in causing the hepatitis C outbreak that infected patients in New Hampshire as well as other states.Kwiatkowski has been charged with seven counts of tampering with a consumer product and seven counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud. The charges relate to suspected thefts of the controlled substance fentanyl, a powerful anesthetic used in various medical procedures. In addition to stealing fentanyl and depriving patients in his care of the intended analgesic effect of the drug, Kwiatkowski allegedly caused over 30 individuals in New Hampshire and elsewhere to become infected with hepatitis C, a bloodborne virus that can cause serious damage to the liver.
According to the indictment, Kwiatkowski was employed for several years as a healthcare worker in Michigan. Beginning in 2007, he became a traveling health care technician, employed in various states, including New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Arizona, Kansas, Georgia and New Hampshire.