In a recent study conducted by the California Public Health Authorities, it was concluded that approximately one-third of the infections that should have been reported under California law were in fact not reported. This study, which was conducted in 2011, reviewed one-hundred hospitals in the state.
Several states have passed laws requiring the mandatory reporting of infection statistics from hospitals and other healthcare facilities. I personally had the honor of testifying at the Rhode Island State House in 2009 on behalf of such a bill, which was eventually made law. Public reporting of healthcare-associated infection statistics from hospitals and other applicable healthcare facilities is important for several reasons, including the fact that such statistics provide the public with tangible evidence that can help public health officials and other professionals better gauge the problem at hand. Yet as this study proves, more progress in this area is still needed in order to curb the unnecessary deaths due to healthcare-associated infections.
It has been over 30 years since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the first cases of HIV/AIDS. Since then, so much has been done to learn more about the virus and disease, as well as significant attempts to raise awareness and prevent the transmission of the virus to uninfected individuals. It is estimated that nearly 30 million people have died as a result of HIV/AIDS since the early 1980s. While these needless deaths are truly a tragedy, what is almost more shocking is the fact that in the United States, more people die annually as a result of something many of you may have not heard of: Healthcare-associated Infections.
As I learned more about healthcare-associated infections, I knew I had to do something to help bring that information to others. The perfect opportunity arose when I became a film minor, with the hope of eventually making a film to raise awareness. In January of 2012, I contacted Pat Mastors, who I had met the winter after my dad passed away. Pat lost her father in 2007 as a result of C. diff, and has since become a huge advocate for patient safety and awareness, creating the Patient Pod, which is a tool to help keep patients safe in hospitals, nursing homes, and other related environments. She has also been an immense help in the production of this film, as she put me in contact with a number of individuals across the country, and also set up my interview with Dr. David Lowe, an infectious disease specialist who saved the life of one of her close friends. Dr. Lowe’s interview was also immensely helpful, as he explained complicated scientific information in a way that the average person can easily understand.
MRSAidTM is currently being used at Vancouver General Hospital on patients undergoing select surgeries in order to reduce their risk of developing post surgical site infections. Since MRSAidTM does not generate bacterial resistance, this is a critical milestone in the fight against HAIs and antibiotic resistant superbugs. Click here to watch another video of MRSAidTM and Dr. Cale Street being featured on Canadian national news.
We are thrilled to announce that the FDA has approved a human clinical study to investigate the use of photodisinfection to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). VAP occurs when a lung infection develops in a patient ventilated with an endotracheal tube and continues to be the #1 cause of healthcare-associated infections in intensive care units. In the U.S alone, more than 1.3 million patients are mechanically ventilated every year. Of these patients, 10%-20% will develop ventilator-associated pneumonia, and up to half of them will die.
“A successful VAP study would represent a key step towards the commercialization of this new application of photodisinfection which utilizes Ondine’s patented technology and products…(our technology) has been proven to be highly effective at eliminating biofilms in ex vivo models, it is therefore ideally suited for the elimination of endotracheal tube biofilms resulting in the prevention of VAP” says Carolyn Cross, Chairman & CEO of Ondine.
Healthcare-associated infections occur when a patient acquires an infection during the course of treatment at, or a visit to, a healthcare facility
Globally, healthcare-associated infections involve millions of people and kill hundreds of thousands of people annually. Available statistics suggest that 8,500 to 12,000 Canadians will die from HAIs every year1, making these infections one of thelargest killers in Canada.
Healthcare-associated infections occur when a patient acquires an infection during the course of treatment at, or a visit to, a healthcare facility. It is classified as an HAI once doctors have ruled out that the patient did not enter the healthcare facility with this infection present. The duration of the infection has to be at least 48 hours to be considered an HAI2. In some unfortunate situations where the patient is admitted for less than 48 hours, the infection will not show up until after the patient has been released from the hospital. These HAIs may not be included in the statistics. Read more »
Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a national guideline on the prevention of catheter-associated UTIs. Dr. Carolyn Gould, the primary author of these guidelines, has blogged to bring awareness to this growing group of infections. In her post, she calls catheter-associated UTIs “one of the most common, yet most preventable” types of healthcare-associated infections.
The new CDC guideline for the prevention of catheter-associated UTIs is an updated and expanded version of the original published thirty years ago. Today, urinary tract infections are the #1 most common healthcare-associated infection. They account for 30% of all reported cases of HAIs and are responsible for killing an estimated 13,000 Americans every year2. Read more »
Urinary tract infections, ventilator associated pneumonia and surgical site infections are three of the top HAIs
Healthcare-associated infections cost the US healthcare system a shocking $35-$45 billion each year1. There are many different types of HAIs that contribute to this disturbingly high number. Let’s focus on three of the top HAIs that are demanding immediate public attention:
“Healthcare-associated infections are one of the biggest causes of avoidable harm and unnecessary death in the developed world” – World Health Organization
Healthcare-associated infections kill more than 99,000 people every year
Over the next few blog posts, we’ll be discussing a group of infections known as healthcare-associated infections, or HAIs. In the US alone, more than 99,000 people die each year from these infections1. While this cost on human life is high, the financial toll is equally staggering . The World Health Organization has called the HAIs one of the biggest causes of avoidable harm and unnecessary deaths in the developed world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that HAIs add $35-$45 billion in costs to the US healthcare system each year2. As such, healthcare-associated infections have become a costly public health concern that demands immediate attention.
HAIs occur when a patient acquires an infection during the course of treatment at, or a visit to, a healthcare facility. After a patient acquires a HAI, the ramifications are often excessively expensive and deadly. In fact, HAIs are responsible for more deaths each year than car accidents, breast cancer, anorexia or AIDS. On average, they add 19 days to a patient’s hospital stay, and increase medical expenses by more than $45,0003. Read more »