Magazine article Drug Topics

CDC Introduces Program against Antimicrobial Resistance

Magazine article Drug Topics

CDC Introduces Program against Antimicrobial Resistance

Article excerpt

HOSPITAL PRACTICE

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recently launched a "Campaign to Prevent Antimicrobial Resistance in Healthcare Settings." The campaign is intended to increase awareness of the problem of antimicrobial resistance in facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes and to implement strategies to prevent such resi tance. The initiative is funded by the CDC Foundation with support from Pharmacia Inc., Premier Inc., and the Sally S. Potter Endowment Fund. It is endorsed by the American Society for Microbiology, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

Denise Cardo, M.D., chief, Prevention and Evaluation Branch, Division of Healthcare Quality and Promotion, CDC, emphasizes that this campaign differs from others. It strives not only to prevent antimicrobial resistance but also to prevent infection and the transmission of infection among patients, to the end that antimicrobial resistance is not an issue.

The CDC feels that a campaign against antimicrobial resistance is necessary because, according to a page on its Web site (http.www.cdc. gov/drugresistance/healthcare/problem. htm), every year approximately two million patients in the United States contract an infection while hospitalized, and 90,000 of those patients die as a result. Of those bacteria that cause hospital-acquired infections, more than 70% are resistant to at least one of the drugs often used to treat them, and patients may require therapy with secondor third-choice drugs.

The campaign promotes four strategies that clinicians can use to prevent antimicrobial resistance among patient populations:

*Preventing infection

*Effectively diagnosing and treating infection

* Using antimicrobials judiciously

* Preventing the transmission of infection

According to the CDC, clinicians caring for hospitalized adults can use 12 specific steps to implement these preventive strategies. These steps are derived from evidencebased recommendations and guidelines previously developed by the CDC and other organizations. They are:

* Vaccinate. Clinicians should be vaccinated against influenza and should vaccinate at-risk patients against S. pneumoniae and influenza prior to discharge.

*Remove catheters. Catheters should be used only when necessary and should be removed expediently

*Target the specific pathogen. Empiric therapy should be targeted to suspected pathogen(s), and once culture results are known, definitive therapy should target known pathogen(s). …

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