Sunday, November 23, 2008

Superbug Attacks

From ABC: Health experts are sounding the alarm about the growing threat from new drug- resistant bacteria a superbug that can be deadly. It's often spread in hospitals and nursing homes, and causes severe intestinal infections.

Numbers out today show 13 of every one thousand hospital patients get infected as much as 20 times higher than earlier estimates. It's a superbug most people have never heard of called C- difficile - but if you contract it, you'll never forget it. Oscar Carroll has been battling this intestinal bacteria since May.

Daughter Karthy Carroll-Josenhans said,"We really thought we were going to lose him right then and there. Nobody could tell us what was wrong." C-difficle is showing up in a more deadly form.

This new survey found that on any given day, more than 7000 hospital patients are suffering from this infection - It's estimated 300 of them will die.

Study Author Dr. William Jarvis said," Well we were very surprised, we knew the rate had been increasing, but I think our data suggested it is increasing even more rapidly than previously

C-difficile is often spread from patient to patient --room to room -- by unsuspecting doctors and nurses. Some hospitals are now going on the offensive.. taking aggressive measure
to try to stop the spread of this dangerous bacteria. At dozens of New York's area hospitals -all equipment is wiped down with bleach, which is the only thing that works against c-diff.

This is done routinely for everybody. Hands are repeatedly washed with soap and water, doctors use disposable gowns and gloves and patients with c-diff are isolated. It's working.

Dr. Brian Koll/Chief, Infection Control, Beth Israel Hospital: "We've actually had a 75% decrease in C-difficile infections at Beth-Israel." In addition, one California company is testing a new drug that has shown real promise, but it is years away from making it to the market.

For now, one of the best precautions a patient can take - is quite simple - make sure everyone- family, friends and hospital staff washes with soap and water before coming into the room.

I have never heard of this new superbug, I am pretty sure I got a staph infection when I had my first child. It took six months to get rid of it. It was awful! I had complications at the time of delivery and my immune system was not strong. I passed out in the bath tub and almost drowned. I, unfortunately never had the bacteria cultured so I will never for sure. Eventually, I tried a very strong antibiotic that took the infection away in three days! It was amazing!

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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Knight in Dragonland said...

Clostridium difficile has long been a menace to hospitalized patients. It usually strikes patients that have been treated with antibiotics causing copious and sometimes bloody diarrhea, especially in hospitalized patients that have been on broad-spectrum antibiotics for long periods of time. C diff is resistant to most typical antibiotics, so it overgrows when the normal, beneficial gut bacteria are wiped out by broad spectrum antibiotics. C diff is one of the reasons there is a growing trend to minimize antibiotic use for minor infections and reserve them for more serious infections.

In recent years a more virulent strain has emerged that cause more severe inflammation of the colon and occasionally even strikes those who have not been recently exposed to antibiotics. I saw several adults in medical school that required partial or total removal of their colon due to C diff infection, and one of the pediatricians I trained with in med school and residency lost his father to a fulminant C diff infection.

Handwashing is key to preventing its spread, and there is some good evidence that probiotics may be helpful in replenishing beneficial bacteria to the digestive tract, preventing the overgrowth of C diff.

Diane Vespa said...

Suddenly I have an overwhelming urge to take a long hot shower...

Anonymous said...

Please use correct terms...this is how we get people confused about medicine which is already confusing!

Bacteria is cultured not biopsied...tissue is biopsied!

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