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Blood Test Might Predict When Antibiotics Won't Help

Posted 19 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 20, 2016 – Researchers say they're closer to developing a blood test that distinguishes between viral and bacterial respiratory infections. This would help doctors predict when antibiotics will and will not work. Such a test, done right in the doctor's office, might also help curb overuse of antibiotics – a practice that has led to drug-resistant bacteria, experts suggest. When diagnosing respiratory infections – such as colds, pneumonia and bronchitis – it helps to know whether the illness is caused by a virus or bacteria, explained study lead author Dr. Ephraim Tsalik. He is assistant professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C. "Antibiotics treat bacteria, but they do not treat viruses. That's why distinguishing between these various causes of illness is very important to get the right treatment to the right patient, and to offer a ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Influenza, Diagnosis and Investigation

Patients Can Self-Administer IV Antibiotics at Home: Study

Posted 25 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 24, 2015 – Patients can be taught to safely self-administer long-term intravenous antibiotics at home, without the help of a health care worker, a new study suggests. The finding could have a significant impact on uninsured patients who might otherwise spend weeks in a hospital receiving IV care, according to researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. "This really taps into human potential, giving a voice to the uninsured at the same time that it offers an opportunity for enormous cost savings to hospitals," study first author Dr. Kavita Bhavan, assistant professor of internal medicine, said in a medical center news release. Some infections require treatment with IV antibiotics for six weeks or more. Patients with insurance typically go home or to a nursing home and have their antibiotics administered by a home health care worker or ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Amoxicillin, Doxycycline, Bacterial Infection, Cephalexin, Bactrim, Azithromycin, Cipro, Ciprofloxacin, Augmentin, Levaquin, Keflex, Zithromax, Trimethoprim, Erythromycin, Sulfamethoxazole, Nitrofurantoin, Clarithromycin, Minocycline, Macrobid

U.S. Teen Treated for Rare Rat-Bite Fever

Posted 23 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23, 2015 – A U.S. teenager was diagnosed with rat-bite fever after being bitten by her pet rodent, a new report reveals. The 17-year-old was treated for the rare and serious condition after developing pain in her right hip and lower back that affected her ability to walk, doctors said. Over two weeks, the teen also experienced pain in her right leg, discomfort in a joint in her pelvis, fever, nausea and vomiting. She also developed a pink rash on her hands and feet, according to the report. Once doctors learned the teen had several pets, including three pet rats who lived in her bedroom, she had a blood test, which was positive for Streptobacillus moniliformis – the most common cause of rat-bite fever. Left untreated, the disease has a death rate as high as 13 percent, according to the research led by Dr. Carina Brown, an intern/resident in the University of Virginia ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Diagnosis and Investigation

Health Tip: Keeping Kids in Pain Comfortable

Posted 18 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

-- Pain may slow a child's recovery from illness or injury. Medication can help, but there are other ways to keep kids comfortable. The University of Michigan Health System advises: Offer plenty of love, comfort and support. Soothe your child with extra hugs and cuddles. Keep your child calm and don't let him or her feel anxious, which can worsen pain. Try heat therapy or cold packs, soothing music or gentle massage. Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Infections, Headache, Back Pain, Migraine, Muscle Pain, Chronic Pain, Bacterial Infection, Influenza, Sciatica, Neck Pain, Head Injury, Breakthrough Pain, Pain/Fever, Postoperative Pain, Head Injury with Loss of Consciousness

Serious Illness Affects Bone Health

Posted 12 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2015 – A critical illness can lead to bone loss, a new study finds. The research included 66 seniors who spent at least 24 hours on a breathing machine in an intensive care unit (ICU). One year after their ICU stay, the patients had 1.6 percent less bone density in their lower spines and 1.2 percent less bone density in their thigh bones than would be expected. This bone loss may increase their risk of fractures, according to study author Neil Orford, ICU director at University Hospital Geelong in Australia, and colleagues. The researchers said critical illness may accelerate bone resorption. This is a process that occurs when bone is broken down, and calcium and other minerals are released into the bloodstream. A year after an ICU stay, the patients' resorption had returned to normal, but they were left with lower bone density, the study showed. The impact of this ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Osteoporosis, Fracture, bone, Prevention of Osteoporosis, Osteopenia, Viral Infection, ICU Agitation, Osteomalacia, Prevention of Fractures

Health Tip: Understanding Antibiotics

Posted 9 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

-- By taking an antibiotic as prescribed, you can get well faster and help prevent germs from becoming resistant to your medication. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these antibiotic guidelines: Never skip a dose of antibiotic. Always take it on schedule, as directed. Never stop taking an antibiotic early. Always take the entire prescription, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Never save any antibiotic medication for a future illness. Never take an antibiotic that was prescribed for another person. Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Amoxicillin, Doxycycline, Metronidazole, Bacterial Infection, Clindamycin, Cephalexin, Bactrim, Azithromycin, Cipro, Ciprofloxacin, Augmentin, Levaquin, Flagyl, Keflex, Zithromax, Valtrex, Acyclovir, Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole

Post-Op Bacterial Infection Raises Odds for Complications, Death

Posted 25 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25, 2015 – People recuperating from surgery are much more likely to die or develop complications if they become infected with a dangerous diarrhea-causing bacteria, a new study suggests. Patients at VA hospitals who contracted Clostridium difficile following surgery were five times more likely to die and 12 times more likely to suffer a complication of the heart, lung, kidneys or nervous system, according to findings published online Nov. 25 in the journal JAMA Surgery. "C. difficile infection is a big hit to take for people who are already behind the eight-ball," said Dr. Brian Zuckerbraun, a surgeon at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System who co-wrote an accompanying editorial. "It's just a big insult to their system, when they are vulnerable." C. difficile is a tough and opportunistic bacteria that can invade the intestines of people whose gut bacteria have been wiped ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Surgery, Bacterial Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection, Clostridial Infection, Bacteremia

Kids at Growing Risk of Deadly 'Superbug' Infection: Study

Posted 22 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 22, 2015 – Rates of a deadly "superbug" infection are on the rise among American children, especially those aged 5 and younger, a new study shows. The infections are caused by a type of bacteria called Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). CRE is most common in hospitals and long-term care centers and is resistant to many types of antibiotics. The death rate from CRE infections is about 50 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Past research on CRE has focused on adults, and there is little data on this type of infection in children. In this study, researchers analyzed data from 1999 to 2012 throughout the United States and found that CRE infection rates in children rose from 0 percent in 1999-2000 to 0.47 percent in 2011-2012. The largest increase – from 0 percent to 4.5 percent – occurred among 1- through 5-year-olds being ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infection

Small Hospitals Seeing More Drug-Resistant E. Coli Infections

Posted 14 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 14, 2015 – Drug-resistant E. coli infections are on the increase in small community hospitals, where more than half of U.S. patients receive their health care, researchers report. The researchers analyzed data from 26 hospitals in the Southeast, and found that cases of drug-resistant E. coli infections doubled from 2009 to 2014 – from slightly more than 5 per 100,000 patients to 10.5 per 100,000 patients. The median, or midpoint, age of patients infected with this E. coli strain was 72, according to the study published online Oct. 13 in the journal Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. "We have always considered antibiotic-resistant organisms a problem at large hospitals," senior study author Dr. Deverick Anderson, an infectious disease specialist at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C., said in a university news release. "This study goes a long way ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Skin Infection, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Bacteremia, Adjunct to Antibiotic Therapy

Medical Gowns, Gloves Often Source of Contamination: Study

Posted 12 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 12, 2015 – Health care workers often contaminate their skin and clothing when they remove their medical gowns and gloves, new research suggests. For the study, workers at four Ohio hospitals simulated gown and glove removal. Additional health care workers from a separate facility participated in a program that included education and practice of removing contaminated gowns and gloves. The health care workers simulated 435 gown and glove removals. The researchers used a fluorescent lotion to determine "contamination." Skin or clothing got contaminated 46 percent of the time, the investigators found. But, the education and practice program led to a significant drop in the contamination rate – from 60 percent to about 19 percent, the findings showed. This improvement lasted even when health care workers were retested after one and three months, Dr. Curtis Donskey, of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection

Infections, Not Clumsiness, Cause Many Falls

Posted 9 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 9, 2015 – People arriving at the emergency room for a fall may be there due to an underlying infection rather than clumsiness, a new study suggests. Infection-related falls usually affect older people but can happen to anyone, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital warn. "Over the years I've been struck by the fact that some of the more serious infections I treated were in people who came to the hospital because they fell," said the study's principal investigator, Dr. Farrin Manian, a clinician educator in the hospital's division of general medicine. "Even though many of the patients had vague early signs of an infection, such as weakness or lethargy, it was the fall that brought them in," Manian said in a news release from Infectious Diseases Week, the annual meeting of specialists in infectious illness. The new findings were presented at this year's meeting in ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Agitation, Agitated State, Prevention of Falls

Health Tip: Teaching Kids to Wash Hands

Posted 7 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

-- Keeping kids' hands clean goes a long way toward keeping children healthy, especially if they attend daycare or school. The Mayo Clinic recommends: Showing your child how to properly wash hands. Supervise the first few sessions. Having your child wash hands frequently throughout the day. Making sure your child scrubs long enough. Have the child sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice. Keeping a stepstool nearby to help your small child reach the sink. Keeping hand sanitizer within reach if soap and water aren't available. Make sure hands are dry before the child touches anything. Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Influenza, Bacterial Skin Infection

More Than 730 Illnesses Reported in Latest Salmonella Outbreak

Posted 6 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 6, 2015 – A salmonella outbreak that has been linked to contaminated cucumbers imported from Mexico has now caused 732 illnesses in 35 states, U.S. health officials said Tuesday. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the cucumbers were distributed in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Utah. Distribution to other states may also have occurred, the agency added. Four deaths have been reported in the outbreak: one in Arizona, one in California, one in Oklahoma, and one in Texas. So far, 150 people have been hospitalized, CDC officials said Tuesday. Fifty percent of the illnesses reported have been in children under the age of 18, agency officials added. ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Salmonella Enteric Fever, Infectious Diarrhea, Salmonella Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Extraintestinal Infection

FDA Orders Studies on Contaminated Endoscopes Tied to Illness Outbreaks

Posted 5 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 5, 2015 – Recent outbreaks of life-threatening infections linked to endoscopic devices called duodenoscopes led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday to order manufacturers to conduct postmarket studies of the devices in health care facilities. The goal is to learn more about how the scopes are cleaned and prepared for reuse in actual health care settings, the FDA said. Duodenoscopes are flexible, lighted tubes threaded through the mouth, throat and stomach to the small intestine, and used to diagnose and treat problems in the liver, pancreas and gallbladder. Last February, the FDA issued a warning that duodenoscopes are hard to clean even when health care workers follow manufacturers' directions. In March, the FDA issued final recommendations for the cleaning and sterilization of duodenoscopes. That action came shortly after reports that duodenoscopes ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Diagnosis and Investigation, Endoscopy or Radiology Premedication

New Antibiotic-Resistant 'Superbug' an Emerging Threat, CDC Says

Posted 5 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 5, 2015 – A relatively new antibiotic-resistant bacteria called CRE is making inroads in some major American cities, U.S. health officials report. Surveillance of seven U.S. metropolitan areas found higher-than-expected levels of CRE in Atlanta, Baltimore and New York City, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lower-than-expected levels were found in Albuquerque, Denver and Portland, Ore., while the Minneapolis rate was what the agency anticipated. But CDC researchers were dismayed that they found active cases of CRE infection in every city they examined, said senior author Dr. Alexander Kallen, a CDC medical officer. The results support the CDC's decision to promote coordinated regional efforts to prevent the spread of CRE and other antibiotic-resistant germs, Kallen said. "Here we are with an opportunity to intervene on one of these ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Metronidazole, Bacterial Infection, Bactrim, Flagyl, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection, Bactrim DS, Xifaxan, Polymyxin B, Skin and Structure Infection, Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim, Septra, Bacitracin, Rifaximin, Metro, Chloramphenicol, Septra DS, SMZ-TMP DS, Cotrimoxazole

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