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Infections News

Guidelines for Preventing Catheter Infections in ICU Often Ignored: Study

Posted 3 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 28, 2015 – Many health-care providers don't follow guidelines meant to reduce the risk of infection from catheters placed in the arteries of intensive care unit patients, a new study finds. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says health-care providers should wear sterile gloves, a surgical cap and mask, and use a small sterile drape when inserting catheters into patients' arteries. But a Rhode Island Hospital survey of more than 1,200 health-care providers found that only 44 percent followed the CDC recommendations during insertion. And only 15 percent used "full barrier precautions." The participants' responses were anonymous. "Barrier precautions are employed inconsistently by critical care clinicians across the nation, and such individuals underestimate the infection risks posed by arterial catheters," study co-author Dr. Leonard Mermel, medical ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Skin Infection, Skin and Structure Infection, Vascular Surgery

Seniors More Likely to Wind Up in Hospital After Outpatient Surgery: Study

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 25, 2015 – Seniors are much more likely than younger people to find themselves in the hospital after outpatient surgery, a new study finds. "These seniors were supposed to stay out of the hospital since the procedures were performed in the ambulatory setting, but they were admitted to the hospital within 30 days," corresponding study author Dr. Gildasio De Oliveira Jr., an assistant professor in the Center for Healthcare Studies at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, said in a university news release. "Age was the biggest factor associated with readmission and complications. It's not because they are sicker, it's because they are older and have trouble understanding their discharge instructions and medication dosing, which often are not clearly explained," he said. Researchers analyzed data from more than 53,000 Americans who underwent ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Surgery, Bleeding Disorder, Influenza, Blood Transfusion, Postoperative Infection

Parents' Clothing Can Infect Newborns in Intensive Care

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 25, 2015 – The clothing of parents and visitors may spread dangerous respiratory infections to infants in an neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), a Australian study suggests. Four percent of swabs taken from the personal clothing of caregivers and visitors in the NICU at Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney had detectable respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), researchers found. RSV is the leading cause of respiratory-related hospitalizations among premature babies, the researchers said. The investigators also found RSV on 9 percent of high-touch areas in the NICU, including nurses' computers, chairs next to infants' beds and bed rails. RSV was not detected on the hands of doctors, nurses or visitors in the NICU. "Though the detection rate is low, personal clothing of caregivers/visitors do get contaminated with RSV," study author Nusrat Homaira, of the University of New South ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Cold Symptoms, Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Add Germ Fighters to College Packing List

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 21, 2015 – Along with their bedding and laptops, college students living away from home need to pack protection against germs, an immunology expert advises. "Because students share many of the same spaces and items in places such as residence halls and dining areas, many germs can spread quickly and easily," Stacey Gorski, an assistant professor of biology at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, said in a university news release. "The more you know about their risks, the better you can protect yourself," she added. Communal bathrooms in college residence halls are breeding grounds for fungi, bacteria and viruses, Gorski said. Students should wear shower sandals or flip-flops to protect them from viruses that can cause warts and fungi that lead to athlete's foot, she said. Viruses that cause gastrointestinal illnesses are common on college campuses. They can live ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Skin Infection, Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Infection Prophylaxis

Health Tip: Don't Bite Your Nails

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

-- Nail biting is more than just a bad habit, it can harm your health. The American Academy of Dermatology warns against these potential side effects of nail biting: Soreness and bleeding of nearby skin. Poor nail appearance, which may be permanent if you bite your nails long enough. Infection of the nails and nearby skin. Infection of the mouth or gums. Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Onychomycosis - Fingernail

What's the Best Method for Cleaning Hospital Rooms?

Posted 10 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 10, 2015 – Concerns about hospital "superbugs" have spotlighted the need to prevent the spread of germs in health-care settings. But a new report reveals a disturbing lack of knowledge on something as basic as proper cleaning of a patient's room. Very little research addresses the best ways to disinfect and sanitize the hard surfaces in a hospital room, investigators report in the Aug. 11 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. "We basically found that there are studies available to guide actions, but there are much fewer than you might expect for such an important issue," said lead author Dr. Craig Umscheid, an assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia. At any given time, about one in every 25 hospital patients has an infection they got from being at a hospital, according to the U.S. ... Read more

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

Bigger Families Mean More Infections, Study Finds

Posted 6 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 6, 2015 – Love kids? Having a bunch may have its downside, a new study finds. Researchers say being part of a big family boosts the risk of passing on viral infections that cause colds, flu and other respiratory woes. "A lot families go through wave after wave of illness. In fact, some of the kids we monitored had symptoms for 20 to 25 weeks in a row," study co-first author Dr. Carrie Byington, a professor of pediatrics and co-director of the Utah Center for Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Utah, said in a university news release. The research included 108 people from 26 Utah families. They were monitored for one year, and provided nasal swabs to test for viruses weekly for each family member. During that time, researchers found that people in childless households were infected with viruses an average of three to four weeks a year. That rose to 18 ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Sore Throat

For Endoscopes Tied to Serious Infections, Current Cleaning Methods Not Enough

Posted 5 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 5, 2015 – Recent outbreaks of dangerous infections tied to endoscopic devices called duodenoscopes have grabbed headlines, and in March the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued strict guidelines on how best to disinfect the devices. On Tuesday, the FDA announced extra cleaning measures for the devices, which are used to examine the interior of the digestive tract. But a new study finds that 100-percent disinfection may simply not be possible under the recommended protocols. Even after what seems to be a thorough cleaning and disinfection, potentially harmful bacteria can survive on endoscopes, researchers reported. "Colonoscopes and gastroscopes can harbor residual organic material, including viable microbes, even when adherence with recommended reprocessing guidelines is verified," concluded a team led by Cori Ofstead, of Ofstead & Associates in St. Paul, Minn. In ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Colonoscopy, Endoscopy, Bacteremia, Diagnosis and Investigation, Endoscopy or Radiology Premedication

Better Control of Drug-Resistant Germs Could Save Thousands of Lives: CDC

Posted 4 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 4, 2015 – An immediate, focused effort to halt the spread of antibiotic-resistant germs could save tens of thousands of lives and prevent hundreds of thousands of new infections over the next five years, a new government report suggests. As many as 37,000 lives could be saved, and 619,000 new infections prevented, if community health departments and health care facilities form tight support networks to quickly identify and address emerging outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, said report author Dr. John Jernigan. He directs the Office of HAI (Health care-Associated Infections) Prevention Research and Evaluation at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "When health care facilities and health departments in a community work together to share information about resistance, and then use that information to guide and target prevention efforts, then we ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Amoxicillin, Doxycycline, Metronidazole, Bacterial Infection, Clindamycin, Bactrim, Azithromycin, Cipro, Ciprofloxacin, Levaquin, Augmentin, Flagyl, Zithromax, Trimethoprim, Erythromycin, Sulfamethoxazole, Minocycline, Nitrofurantoin, Lamisil

Climate Change May Be Pushing 'Brain-Eating' Amoeba to Northern Lakes

Posted 24 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 24, 2015 – A deadly "brain-eating" amoeba that lives in freshwater sources may be surviving in more northern areas of the United States thanks to climate change, health experts suggest. Minnesota health officials are still trying to confirm if the death of a Minnesota teen this summer was caused by the single-celled organism Naegleria fowleri. If confirmed, it would be the northernmost infection of Naegleria fowleri ever reported, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The amoeba normally lives in warmer waters in the southern United States. But since climate change is generally making summers hotter, the amoeba now seems to be in northern waters, said Dr. Bruce Hirsch, an infectious diseases specialist at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y. "Climate change may be playing a role," he said. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention referred to ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Amebiasis, Dientamoeba fragilis

Antibiotic May Lower Effect of Some Blood Thinners

Posted 21 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 21, 2015 – The antibiotic dicloxacillin may lessen the effects of some blood-thinning medications, new research shows. "The surprise in the study was just how much of an impact dicloxacillin had," said study author Anton Pottegard, a pharmacist and research fellow at the University of Southern Denmark, in Odense. "Often, the effects in these kinds of studies are quite small. But this was very pronounced: Six out of 10 patients dropped so much in their level of blood-thinning that they were no longer sufficiently protected against clotting and stroke," Pottegard said. Coumadin (warfarin) and similar blood thinners lower the risk of blood clots, a potential cause of strokes and heart attacks, by thinning the blood so blockages don't form in vessels, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Patients with irregular heart rhythms, such as atrial fibrillation, and ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Blood Disorders, Warfarin, Coumadin, Metronidazole, Bacterial Infection, Ischemic Stroke, Bactrim, Atrial Fibrillation, Flagyl, Bactrim DS, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Polymyxin B, Xifaxan, Septra, Zyvox, Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim, Rifaximin, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Bacitracin

Beach Sand, Not Water, More Likely to Make You Sick

Posted 17 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 17, 2015 – Heading to the beach this weekend? A new study finds that when it comes to germs, beachgoers may have more to fear from the sand they sit on than the water they swim in. Studies done with water and sand from Hawaiian beaches found a "higher abundance" of bacteria indicating fecal contamination – bugs such a E. coli, for example – in the sand than in the water. In fact, "wastewater-contaminated marine beach sand may act as a chronic source of wastewater bacteria to the beach seawater," writes a team led by Tao Yan of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Public health experts have long known that wastewater from sewage and other sources can contaminate seawater, some days necessitating beach closures. Swimmers who come into contact with or accidentally swallow fecal-contaminated water can suffer stomach ache, diarrhea and rashes, Yan's team noted. However, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection, Skin and Structure Infection, Gastroenteritis, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Traveler's Diarrhea, Infection Prophylaxis, Traveler's Diarrhea Prophylaxis

Health Tip: Take Care of Your Pierced Ears

Posted 8 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

-- Pierced ears may become infected if you don't care for them properly. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends: Don't touch newly pierced ears unless you have just washed your hands. When ears are newly pierced, don't remove earrings for at least six weeks to prevent holes from closing up. A few times each day, gently twist earrings to help keep holes in ear lobes open. Use a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol to gently clean ears a few times daily. Apply a light coat of petroleum jelly on the pierced lobes. Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Skin Infection

Contaminated Pet Food, Treats Can Harm People, Too

Posted 10 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 10, 2015 – Tainted pet foods and treats may make more than your dog or cat sick, new data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration suggests. Harmful bacteria can also make owners ill if they handle contaminated pet products improperly, and bacteria such as salmonella can spread from pets to people, the agency said. "Ultimately, we're hoping to learn ways FDA can help minimize the incidence of foodborne illness associated with pet foods and treats," Renate Reimschuessel, head of the FDA's Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network, said in an agency news release. To collect the new data, the FDA worked with 11 veterinary labs across the United States to investigate pet infections reported by pet owners. One of the main focuses was salmonella infections. Of almost 3,000 dogs and cats tested so far, fewer than 100 have tested positive for salmonella, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Infection Prophylaxis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Leaky Pipes May Mean Tainted Tap Water: Study

Posted 8 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 8, 2015 – It's long been thought that leaks in water pipes wouldn't pose a health threat to the water supply. But a new study suggests otherwise. As explained by the British researchers, the pressure in water mains typically forces water out through any leak – preventing any contaminants from getting in. However, their study finds that if the damage leads to a significant pressure drop in a pipe, dirty water surrounding the pipe can then get sucked in through breaks. It was believed that only clean water from the leak would be sucked into a broken pipe, and that even if contaminants were also sucked in, they would be expelled once water pressure in the pipe returned to normal. However, a team led by engineer Joby Boxall of the University of Sheffield discovered that groundwater from around the pipe – which is often contaminated – can be sucked into and remain in the ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Traveler's Diarrhea

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