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Can Tracking Germs in One Hospital Make All Hospitals Safer?

Posted 3 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 24, 2017 – One hospital's germ history may help doctors curb infections in all hospitals, researchers report. Scientists analyzed more than 10,000 samples collected over 12 months from surfaces, air and water in the University of Chicago's new hospital, the Center for Care and Discovery. Samples were also taken from 252 patients. The samples were collected for two months before the hospital opened in February 2013, and for 10 months after the opening. Germ DNA was detected in 6,523 of the samples. But the makeup of those germs changed drastically once there were humans in the building. "Before it opened, the hospital had a relatively low diversity of bacteria," said study author Jack Gilbert, director of the Microbiome Center at the University of Chicago. "But as soon as it was populated with patients, doctors and nurses, the bacteria from their skin took over." Another ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Urinary Tract Infection, Bacterial Infection, Bladder Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection

Hospital Protocol Helps Thwart Serious Infection

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 24, 2017 – A new regulation requires New York state hospitals to follow a protocol to rapidly diagnosis and treat the potentially fatal infection known as sepsis, and research suggests it's saving lives. The mandate was implemented after the death of 12-year-old Rory Staunton from undiagnosed sepsis in 2012. After the boy died, "Rory's Regulations" was passed in New York in 2013. The protocol includes a blood culture to determine infection, a measure of blood lactate to determine tissue stress, and to give antibiotics within three hours of diagnosis. It was the first regulation of its kind in the United States. However, medical experts have been divided on whether Rory's Regulations actually saves lives. Sepsis, a life-threatening and sometimes rapid complication of infection, is the leading cause of death of hospital patients in the United States. At least 1.5 million ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Skin and Structure Infection, Sepsis, Septicemia, Wound Sepsis, Wound Infection

Overcrowded ERs Risky for Some Seriously Ill Patients

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, May 21, 2017 – People with the potentially life-threatening infection complication known as sepsis are less likely to receive immediate antibiotic treatment in overcrowded emergency departments, researchers say. "Prompt initiation of appropriate antibiotics is the cornerstone of high-quality sepsis care, a fact emphasized in Medicare quality measures and international guidelines," said the study's lead author, Dr. Ithan Peltan. He is a physician at the Intermountain Medical Center and University of Utah School of Medicine. Each one-hour delay in receiving antibiotics is associated with as much as a 10 percent increase in the risk of death from sepsis, Peltan pointed out in a news release from the American Thoracic Society. The study looked at 945 sepsis patients at emergency departments of four hospitals in Utah. The patients were seen between July 2013 and December 2015. ... Read more

Related support groups: Bacterial Infection, Sepsis, Septicemia, Wound Cleansing, Wound Sepsis, Wound Debridement

Houston, You Have a 'Superbug'

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 16, 2017 – A type of bacteria that's resistant to many widely used antibiotics is unusually common among people in Houston, new research reveals. The superbug, known as Klebsiella pneumoniae, is particularly prevalent in this city of 6 million people, according to scientists. "Finding the otherwise uncommon strain in our city was a very surprising discovery," said the study's senior author, Dr. James Musser. He is chair of pathology and genomic medicine at Houston Methodist Hospital. "We urgently need to identify potential vaccine targets or other new treatments, and develop new and rapid diagnostic techniques," he said in a hospital news release. K. pneumoniae normally lives in the human intestines where it doesn't cause any trouble. However, in other parts of the body and outside the body, the bacteria can cause serious infections. Hospitalized patients are at ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Pneumonia, Bacterial Skin Infection, Wound Infection

Some Surprising Sources of Germs

Posted 25 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 25, 2017 – You might think of public restrooms as scary breeding grounds for germs, but two everyday items can spread colds and the flu as fast as a bathroom doorknob. They're your phone and your computer. More germs reside on these two items than on most any toilet seat. Most of the germs on your phone come from your own hands and mouth. But you can also pick up germs by putting down your cell phone in a public place or by sharing your computer with others. To minimize germs, don't share your cell phone and get in the habit of periodically wiping it off with antibacterial wipes or rubbing alcohol. On your computer, the keyboard and mouse are the worst germ offenders. That's why cleaning your computer the right way is a must. Start by shutting it down and unplugging it. Next, turn over the keyboard and shake out any dust or crumbs. Then wipe down each computer component ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Viral Infection

When to Make Use of the Nose in a Medical Emergency

Posted 21 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 21, 2017 – A growing number of U.S. emergency rooms are giving patients medication through the nose instead of via injections or IVs, new research shows. The new approach "is easy, fast and noninvasive," wrote emergency department pharmacist Megan Rech and colleagues from Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Ill. Doctors or nurses simply place an atomizer attached to a syringe in the patient's nostril. When they push a plunger, a mist of medicine is released inside the nose, the study authors explained. Not only is that approach less painful than needles or IVs, it also reduces the spread of infectious diseases, according to the researchers. In some patients, including children, the elderly and the obese, the intranasal approach can deliver medication to the bloodstream more quickly than an injection, the researchers said. The study authors also noted that IVs and ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Flonase, Nasonex, Afrin, Nasacort, Veramyst, Oxymetazoline, Omnaris, Azelastine, Astelin, Dymista, Nasacort AQ, Otrivin, 4-Way, Tetrahydrozoline, Olopatadine, Rhinocort, QNASL, Rhinocort Aqua

Skin's Bacterial 'Balance' May Help Trigger Acne

Posted 6 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 5, 2017 – An unbalanced population of bacteria on the skin may play a major role in acne, according to a new, small study. Up to 85 percent of people develop acne, a disease of hair follicles on the skin, but its exact causes are unclear. One specific type of bacteria has long been suspected, but this study suggests the presence or absence of one particular strain is less important than the overall balance of bacteria on the skin. Researchers analyzed DNA from skin follicle samples of 38 people with acne and 34 without the condition. The investigators then confirmed their findings with 10 more volunteers. The results suggest "that the make-up of the bacteria in the follicles can reflect, as well as influence, the skin condition in acne or healthy skin," study leader Huiying Li said in a news release from the Microbiology Society. Li is an associate professor of ... Read more

Related support groups: Acne, Bacterial Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection

Infections More Common in People With Schizophrenia

Posted 4 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 3, 2017 – People with schizophrenia may face an increased risk for serious infections, a new study suggests. "The preliminary data results suggest that individuals with schizophrenia have higher prevalence of all types of severe infections compared to the background population," study author Monika Pankiewicz-Dulacz, from the University of Southern Denmark, and colleagues wrote. "Clinicians should be aware that people with schizophrenia are the risk group for severe infections. General guidelines and suggestions regarding prevention of severe infections among schizophrenia patients are needed, and they should address a wide range of areas including hygiene, diet, activities, medications, treatment of comorbid [co-existing] conditions and vaccinations," the researchers concluded. However, the study's findings only show a link between schizophrenia and certain infections, ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Urinary Tract Infection, Bacterial Infection, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Bacterial Skin Infection, Tuberculosis, Skin and Structure Infection, Viral Infection, Infectious Hepatitis, Wound Infection

Study Suggests Heartburn Meds-Superbug Infections Link

Posted 27 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 27, 2017 – Patients who take certain heartburn medications may be more likely to suffer recurrent bouts of a common "superbug" infection, a new study suggests. Proton pump inhibitors, such as Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium, or so-called H2 blockers, such as Zantac, Pepcid and Tagamet, were linked to a 50 percent increased risk of developing multiple Clostridium difficile infections, researchers found. However, the study did not prove these heartburn medications cause recurrent C. difficile infections, just that an association appears to exist. And one specialist not involved with the study said the findings won't make him change his prescribing patterns. C. difficile can cause diarrhea and life-threatening inflammation of the colon. In the United States, about half a million people get sick from C. difficile each year. In recent years, these infections have become more ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, GERD, Bacterial Infection, Omeprazole, Nexium, Prilosec, Zantac, Protonix, Pantoprazole, Ranitidine, Dexilant, Lansoprazole, Prevacid, Pepcid, Barrett's Esophagus, Aciphex, Famotidine, Heartburn Relief, Rabeprazole, Esomeprazole

Health Tip: Check Your Child's Temperature

Posted 23 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

-- If you think your child might have a fever, it's important to take the child's temperature correctly. The Mayo Clinic offers these guidelines: From birth to 3 months of age, you'll get the most accurate reading using a digital thermometer and taking the temperature rectally. From 3 months to 4 years old, a digital thermometer used rectally or under the armpit is preferred. Wait until your child is at least 6 months old to use a digital ear thermometer. Starting at age 4, your child can probably hold a thermometer under the tongue. Other options include a temporal artery thermometer, a digital ear thermometer or a digital thermometer placed under the armpit. Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Fever, Bacterial Infection

Hospital Room Floors May Harbor 'Superbugs'

Posted 2 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 2, 2017 – Hospital room floors may be more of a "superbug" threat than many hospital staffers realize, new research suggests. "Efforts to improve disinfection in the hospital environment usually focus on surfaces that are frequently touched by the hands of health care workers or patients," explained lead researcher Dr. Abhishek Deshpande, from the Cleveland Clinic, in Ohio. "Although health care facility floors are often heavily contaminated, limited attention has been paid to disinfection of floors because they are not frequently touched," Deshpande added. Yet, items in a patient's room can come into contact with the floor, which can lead to the transfer of multidrug-resistant bacteria to hands, clothing, call buttons, medical devices, linens and medical supplies, the researchers explained. In their study, the team took samples from the floors of 159 patient rooms in ... Read more

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

Government Funding Could Save Canadians $4 Billion on Medicines

Posted 27 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2017 – A new report suggests that Canada would reap savings of more than $4 billion a year if the government funded nearly 120 types of "essential" medications. "Adding an essential medicines list is a pragmatic step toward universal pharmacare," said Steven Morgan, in a news release from the Canadian Medical Association. "It would ensure all Canadians have access to the most commonly required medicines while saving patients and private drug plan sponsors over $4 billion per year," Morgan said. He's a professor at the University of British Columbia. The report authors listed 117 drugs as essential medications. This list included antibiotics, insulin, birth control and antidepressants. These drugs made up 44 percent of all prescriptions filled at Canadian retail pharmacies in 2015. When "therapeutically similar" drugs were included in the list, that figure was as high ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Plan B, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Mirena, Nexplanon, Depo-Provera, NuvaRing, Provera, Sprintec, Celexa, Implanon, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Doxycycline, Pristiq

Hospital Sinks May Be Awash in 'Superbugs'

Posted 27 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2017 – New research suggests that the battle against "superbugs" – multidrug-resistant bacteria – should begin in hospital sinks. In the study, scientists found that germs colonize in drainpipes and gradually make their way into sinks. The researchers warned that this is one way hospital patients could be exposed to superbugs. Previous research has shown that patients are dying from multidrug-resistant bacterial infections while in the hospital. More than 32 studies have described the spread of bacteria resistant to the last-resort antibiotic, carbapenem, through sinks and other areas where water can pool inside hospitals, the study authors explained. "We wanted to better understand how transmission occurs, so that the numbers of these infections could be reduced," said lead investigator Dr. Amy Mathers. She is an associate professor of medicine and pathology at the ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infection, Ertapenem, Meropenem, Invanz, Merrem, Primaxin IM, Cilastatin/Imipenem, Wound Infection, Merrem Novaplus, Primaxin IV, Doribax, Doripenem

Many Americans Unaware of 'Superbug' Threat: Poll

Posted 27 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2017 – Antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" are a major public health threat, but most Americans are clueless about the dangers, a new HealthDay/Harris Poll shows. More than two-thirds of U.S. adults know "little" or "nothing" about so-called superbugs – bacterial infections that are resistant to many or all antibiotics. And around half believe, incorrectly, that antibiotics work against viruses. That's a concern because improper antibiotic use is considered the major driver of the superbug problem – a problem with deadly consequences. "This poll shows that public ignorance is a huge part of the problem," said Humphrey Taylor, chairman emeritus of The Harris Poll. "Millions of patients continue to believe that antibiotics will help them recover from colds, flu and other viral infections," Taylor said, "and they can be upset with their doctors if they will not prescribe ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Doxycycline, Bacterial Infection, Azithromycin, Bactrim, Cipro, Ciprofloxacin, Augmentin, Levaquin, Zithromax, Sulfamethoxazole, Erythromycin, Minocycline, Clarithromycin, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection, Levofloxacin, Clavulanate, Bactrim DS, Tetracycline

Do You Need an Antibiotic?

Posted 24 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 – Hoping to lessen their misery, most people would like to know whether the respiratory illness they've got could be helped by an antibiotic. The key to finding out may lie in your nose. Or, more specifically, the mucus in your nose. Researchers from Duke Health in Durham, N.C., said they've identified a group of proteins that could be used to tell if an infection is caused by a virus, which triggers cold or flu. Antibiotics can only fight bacterial infections, not viral illnesses. When detected in specific quantities in the mucus of runny noses and inflamed throats, the proteins targeted in the new study were 86 percent accurate in confirming a viral infection, the scientists said. "In the past, science has focused on identifying the pathogen someone is infected with in the blood or other sample," said study lead author Thomas Burke. He's director of technology ... Read more

Related support groups: Bacterial Infection, Azithromycin, Bactrim, Zithromax, Sulfamethoxazole, Erythromycin, Clarithromycin, Bactrim DS, Biaxin, Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim, Sulfadiazine, Septra, Zithromax Z-Pak, MY-E, Z-Pak, SMZ-TMP DS, Septra DS, Sulfatrim, Cotrimoxazole, Viral Infection

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