Dentist Infection Control

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Survey Shows Heightened Public Concern for Antibiotic Resistance

The results of a new survey indicate that most Americans are concerned about the potential for antibiotic resistance to make infections more difficult to treat.

Commissioned by Research!America in collaboration with the Infectious Disease Society of America, the survey was conducted in October 2018 and included responses from more than 1,000 U.S. adults. More than four out of five respondents expressed their concern about antibiotic resistance.

Other key findings from the survey include the following:

  • Nearly two-thirds of respondents said antibiotic resistance is a public health problem.
  • Nearly three-quarters believe the federal government should incentivize private sector investment in new antibiotic development.
  • More than 80% believe pharmaceutical companies should develop more antibiotics.  
  • More than 90% believe doctors and other healthcare professionals should only prescribe antibiotics when required.
  • About three out of every five respondents indicated they were aware that bacteria resistant to antibiotics can be spread from person to person. 
  • More than three-quarters indicated they were aware that antibiotic-resistant infections make medical procedures much more dangerous.
In addition, more than one-third incorrectly believe antibiotics are effective for treating viral infections, about one-third said they would be dissatisfied if their doctor did not prescribe an antibiotic for their child's viral infection and only about 60% of respondents understand that even a single course of inappropriate antibiotics can contribute to antibiotic resistance. These figures indicate more education is required about appropriate antibiotic usage.

Access the survey results by clicking here.


Antimicrobial Stewardship in the Spotlight During Antibiotic Awareness Week

This week, November 12-18, 2018, is U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week (USAAW).

USAAW is an annual observance intended to raise awareness of the threat of antibiotic resistance and the importance of antimicrobial stewardship.

Statistics show that up to 50% of all antibiotics prescribed for people are unnecessary or not optimally effective as prescribed. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes, improving the way we prescribe and take antibiotics helps keep us healthy now, helps fight antibiotic resistance and ensures that these life-saving drugs will be available for future generations.

For a list of USAAW activities planned by CDC for 2018 and numerous resources to help raise awareness of the importance of antimicrobial stewardship, click here.

This week is also World Antibiotic Awareness Week, which the World Health Organization (WHO) states is intended to "increase global awareness of antibiotic resistance and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policymakers to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance."


European Study: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacterial Infections Kill 33,000 Annually

A new study conducted by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control estimates that 33,000 people in Europe die annually from antibiotic-resistant infections.

Furthermore, researchers determined that 75% of the burden of disease is attributable to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and that 39% of the burden is caused by infections with bacteria resistant to last-line antibiotics — which researchers indicated was a troublesome increase from previous study findings.

Researchers note that the burden of antibiotic-resistant infections is comparable to that of influenza, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS combined.

The researchers called for several actions, including "strategies to prevent and control antibiotic-resistant bacteria," noting this will require coordination in Europe and globally, and "the need to urgently address antimicrobial resistance as a patient safety issue and the need for alternative treatment options for patients with such infections who have comorbidities or are otherwise vulnerable."

The study, which was published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, used data from the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network from 2015. It focused on five types of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.


Adenovirus Outbreak Claims Nine Children in New Jersey

An outbreak of the adenovirus at a rehabilitation center in New Jersey has been linked to the deaths of nine children, according to a N.J. Department of Health (DOH) release.

A total of 26 confirmed pediatric cases and one staff member case have been associated with the outbreak.

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes, adenoviruses are resistant to many common disinfectants and can remain infectious for long periods on environmental surfaces and medical instruments. While they rarely cause severe illness, people with weakened immune systems or existing respiratory or cardiac disease are at higher risk of developing severe illness from an adenovirus infection.

Individuals associated with the outbreak became ill between Sept. 26, 2018 and Oct. 22, 2018. The affected children were in the facility's pediatric ventilator unit and had severely compromised immune systems before the outbreak.

In response to the outbreak, a team of infection control experts and epidemiologists from the N.J. DOH will be visiting several facilities, including the site of the outbreak, to conduct training and assessments of infection control procedures.

To prevent healthcare-associated outbreaks of adenovirus infections, CDC advises providers to always follow proper infection control practices, including contact and droplet precautions, and respond promptly to and report clusters of cases.


International Infection Prevention Week Focuses on Patient Safety

International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW) 2018 is underway! The theme for this year's IIPW (October 14-20) is "protecting patients everywhere."

IIPW was established in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan. It is recognized outside of the United States in areas including Australia, the United Kingdom, the Middle East and Asia.

For more information on IIPW and to access IIPW promotional tools and resources, visit the APIC website.


Study: Total Hip and Knee Surgical Site Infections Projected to Rise

A new study projects that complex surgical site infections (SSIs) following hip and knee arthroplasty are expected to increase 14% between 2020 and 2030.

Published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the study examined data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, National Healthcare Safety Network and census. Researchers noted that as the U.S. population ages, the number of primary and revision total hips and knees will likely increase, as will SSIs. Researchers project a total burden of nearly 77,700 SSIs without a reduction in their rates.

However, cutting the rate by 30% — a 2020 target percentage set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services using 2015 baseline data — would prevent about 23,300 SSIs and reduce morbidity, mortality and Medicare costs in the process, researchers stated.


Study: Jet Air Dryers Raise Infection Risk

A new study shows that the type of hand drying method available in washrooms affects the amount of bacterial contamination in the room.

More specifically, the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (e.g., MRSA, MSSA, ESBL-resistant enterococci) were detected more frequently in those washrooms with jet air dryers than in washrooms with paper hand towels.

The 2017 study was led by Professor Mark Wilcox of the University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals and conducted independently by research scientists at hospitals in France, Italy and the United Kingdom.

"The findings will have important implications for hand drying guidance in healthcare settings and they should be of particular interest to infection prevention and control doctors and nurses, procurement managers and all responsible for minimizing the spread of cross-infection," said Wilcox.   

The study, "Environmental contamination by bacteria in hospital washrooms according to hand-drying method: a multi-centre study," was published in the Journal of Hospital Infection.