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Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriaceae
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are a group of bacteria that are very difficult to kill when they cause infection. Examples include E coli and klebsiella. CRE often cause lung, urinary tract, wound, and blood infections. Carbapenems are a group of antibiotics that treat bacterial infections. In CRE infections, the bacteria release chemicals that prevent carbapenems from killing them. This is called antibiotic resistance. CRE infections can become difficult to cure and can spread to other parts of the body. CRE infections that get into the blood can be life-threatening.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever or chills.
- You have a wound that is red, swollen, or draining pus.
- You have had contact with someone with a CRE infection.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- Antibiotics may be given to treat a bacterial infection.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Prevent the spread of CRE:
- Tell your healthcare provider if you have been hospitalized in another hospital or country. This may tell your healthcare provider if you are at risk for CRE and help you get early treatment for infections.
- Take antibiotics as directed. Do not take antibiotics when you do not need them. Do not share antibiotics or take other people's antibiotic medicine. Overuse of antibiotics can kill the good bacteria in your gut, and increase your risk for CRE. You could also spread CRE to others.
- Wash your hands often. This includes the following:
- Before you prepare or eat food
- Before and after you change wound bandages
- After you use the bathroom
- After you blow your nose, sneeze, or cough
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.