Superbugs Threaten Hospital Patients

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a release on March 3, 2016, with the above headline. The release notes that antibiotic resistant bacteria, commonly called superbugs, are now causing 1 in 7 healthcare associated infections, (HAI).

“New data show that far too many patients are getting infected with dangerous, drug-resistant bacteria in healthcare settings,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Doctors and healthcare facilities have the power to protect patients – no one should get sick while trying to get well.”

The release notes that HIAs are dangerous because they are resistant to antibiotics and very difficult to treat. The release states, “HAIs are commonly caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which may lead to sepsis or death.”

A Fox News story on the same issue noted that the CDC reported that on any given day as many as 1 in 25 patients have an infection they picked up while in the hospital. Estimates are that for some procedures, the infection rate is as high as 1 in 4 patients.

The CDC release noted three areas that need to be addressed to help combat HIAs. These are, ” 1) prevent infections related to surgery or placement of a catheter, 2) prevent spread of bacteria between patients, and 3) improve antibiotic use.”

The discussion of the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria has long centered around the overuse of antibiotics in medical care and food that has fostered the development of bacteria that are no longer treatable by these drugs.

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