Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, CDC, Hospital Acquired, Infections / 02.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50527" align="alignleft" width="185"]This image depicts a strain of Candida auris cultured in a petri dish at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Credit: Shawn Lockhart This image depicts a strain of Candida auris cultured in a petri dish at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Credit: Shawn Lockhart[/caption] Snigdha Vallabhaneni, MD, MPH Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, GA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: We are concerned about the fungus Candida auris (or C. auris) because it causes serious infections, is often resistant to medications, and continues to spread at alarming rates in U.S. healthcare settings. Candida. auris  primarily affects patients in who are hospitalized for a long time or are residents of nursing homes that take care of patients on ventilators. C. auris is still rare in the United States and most people are at low risk of getting infected. People who get C. auris or other Candida infections are often already sick from other medical conditions and often have invasive medical care, including ventilators for breathing support, feeding tubes, central venous catheters, and have received lots of antibiotics. Many patients infected and colonized with C. auris move frequently between post-acute care facilities and hospitals, which increases the risk of spreading C. auris between facilities.
Author Interviews, Hospital Acquired, Infections / 22.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_42636" align="alignleft" width="309"]CRE bacteria - CDC image CRE bacteria - CDC image[/caption] Richard Stanton, PhD Health Scientist, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion Centers for Disease Control and Prevention MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We used whole genome sequencing (WGS) to investigate an outbreak of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) that occurred in an acute care hospital in Kentucky over a six month period in late 2016. The outbreak included 18 cases of CRE.
Author Interviews, Hand Washing, Infections, MRSA, Pediatrics / 15.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Bart Infant” by Bart Everson is licensed under CC BY 2.0Gwen M. Westerling, BSN, RN, CIC Infection Preventionist Helen DeVos Children's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The setting of this study is a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with 106 beds. In 2016, an increase in Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI) was noted in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) caused by Staphylococcus aureus (SA) through diligent Infection Prevention Surveillance. When we reviewed the literature we found the SA is a common skin colonizer and can be a problem for neonates with immature skin and immune systems. Staphylococcus aureus is easily transmitted through direct contact with skin, the contaminated hands of health care workers, the environment and equipment. We also found one study that listed skin to skin care as a risk factor for acquisition of SA. Before we saw the increase in infections some process changes occurred in our NICU that included increased skin to skin care, meaningful touch between neonates and parents, and two person staff care. We hypothesized that the process changes were exposing neonates to increased amounts of Staphylococcus aureus and contributing to the increase in infections.
Author Interviews, Hospital Acquired, Outcomes & Safety / 02.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_32590" align="alignleft" width="200"]Curtis J. Donskey, MD Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center Cleveland, OH 44106 Dr. Curtis J. Donskey[/caption] Curtis J. Donskey, MD Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center Cleveland, OH 44106 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: Many hospitals are making efforts to improve cleaning to reduce the risk for transmission of infection from contaminated environmental surfaces. Most of these efforts focus on surfaces like bed rails that are frequently touched by staff and patients. Despite the fact that floors have consistently been the most heavily contaminated surfaces in hospitals, they have not been a focus of cleaning interventions because they are rarely touched. However, it is plausible that bacteria on floors could picked up by shoes and socks and then transferred onto hands. In a recent study, we found that when a nonpathogenic virus was inoculated onto floors in hospital rooms, it did spread to the hands of patients and to surfaces inside and outside the room. Based on those results, we assessed the frequency of floor contamination in 5 hospitals and examined the potential for transfer of bacteria from the floor to hands.
Author Interviews, Hospital Acquired, Outcomes & Safety / 28.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Peggy Luebbert, MS, MT, CIC, CHSP, CBSPD; Infection Preventionist at Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital; Owner and Consultant at Healthcare Interventions, Inc.; and Brian Heimbuch, MS, Associate Division Manager/Sr. Bioaerosol Scientist, Applied Research Associates MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Mr. Heimbuch: The purpose of the study was to examine the ability of sterilization packaging systems to maintain sterility of surgical instruments and devices from the time of sterilization until use. Ms. Luebbert: Maintaining a sterile environment in the operating room is essential for preventing the estimated 300,000 surgical site infections (SSIs) that occur annually in U.S. hospitals and result in approximately 9,000 deaths.[i]-iii Sterilization packaging systems are designed to maintain the sterility of surgical instruments and devices from the time of sterilization until use in the operating room. The two primary types of sterilization packaging systems include trays covered in sterilization wrap and rigid containers. Sterilization wrap is composed of polypropylene or cloth and is disposed of after use. Rigid containers are reusable and come in a variety of materials (including metals, aluminum and polymers) and sizes.
Author Interviews, Hand Washing, Hospital Acquired, Infections / 04.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Laurence Senn, médecin associée Service de médecine préventive hospitalière Mont Paisible Lausanne MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Senn: Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ubiquitous environmental bacterium that can cause infection in patients severely ill, and is thus a major cause of nosocomial infections in intensive care units. During an environmental investigation on potential reservoirs of P. aeruginosa, the liquid hand soap was found highly contaminated with this pathogen. The fact that unopened soap containers were found contaminated with P. aeruginosa proved that the contamination occurred during product manufacturing. Contaminated batches had been used in our hospital over the previous 5 months. In order to evaluate the burden of this contamination on patients, our infection control team conducted an epidemiological investigation combining two molecular methods. First, we analyzed with a classical molecular typing method all P. aeruginosa isolated from patients during the period of exposition to the contaminated soap. Secondly, we targeted the analysis on some isolates sharing the same genotype that the one found in the soap with a modern, recently developed tool which consists in sequencing the whole genome of the bacteria. This method allowed us to have the "fingerprint" of each isolate. Our investigation ruled out any impact of the contaminated soap on patients.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Outcomes & Safety, Urinary Tract Infections, Urology / 19.11.2015

[caption id="attachment_19485" align="alignleft" width="200"]Jerome A. Leis, MD MSc FRCPC Staff physician, General Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases Physician Lead, Antimicrobial Stewardship Team Staff member, Centre for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto Dr. Jerome Leis[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jerome A. Leis, MD MSc FRCPC Staff physician, General Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases Physician Lead, Antimicrobial Stewardship Team Staff member, Centre for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Leis: Overuse of urinary catheters leads to significant morbidity among hospitalized patients.  In most hospitals, discontinuation of urinary catheters relies on individual providers remembering to re-assess whether patients have an ongoing reason for a urinary catheter.  We engaged all of the attending physicians to agree on the appropriate reasons for leaving a urinary catheter in place and developed a medical directive for nurses to remove all urinary catheters lacking these indications.  This nurse-led intervention resulted in a significant reduction in urinary catheter use and catheter-associated urinary tract infections, compared with wards that continued to rely on usual practice.
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Infections, Outcomes & Safety / 01.09.2015

Leonard Mermel, DO, ScM, AM (Hon), FSHEA, FIDSA, FACP Professor of Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University Medical Director, Dept. of Epidemiology & Infection Control, Rhode Island Hospital   MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Leonard Mermel, DO, ScM, AM (Hon), FSHEA, FIDSA, FACP  Professor of Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University Medical Director, Dept. of Epidemiology & Infection Control, Rhode Island Hospital Adjunct Clinical Professor, University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy     Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Mermel: Arterial catheters are an under recognized source of hospital-associated bloodstream infection. As a result, arterial catheter infection prevention strategies are less well studied than with central lines.  We did a national survey and our findings reaffirmed the fact that physicians using these catheters underestimate the risk of infection.  Additionally and not surprisingly, infection prevention strategies are variable particularly concerning barrier precautions at insertion. Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? Dr. Mermel: Arterial catheters can cause catheter-related bloodstream infections.  These devices should be aseptically inserted and managed post-insertion and removed as soon as no longer required for patient care.  We are also in need of better studies to clearly delineate the ideal infection prevention strategies with these catheters based on our understanding of the pathogenesis of such infections. 
Author Interviews, C. difficile, Hospital Acquired, JAMA / 05.05.2015

Dale N. Gerding, MD Research Physician, Edward Hines, Jr., VA Hospital Professor, Department of Medicine of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of MedicineMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dale N. Gerding, MD Research Physician, Edward Hines, Jr., VA Hospital Professor, Department of Medicine of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Gerding: Naturally occurring strains of C. difficile lack the genes for production of the toxins that cause C. difficile infection (CDI) and are known as non-toxigenic C. difficile (NTCD). These strains when ingested by patients whose normal microbiota is disrupted by antibiotic treatment will harmlessly colonize the colon and remain in the gut for weeks to months. Specific strains of NTCD found in patients were shown to colonize the gut and prevent C. difficile infection when challenged with toxigenic C. difficile strains in animal models. One such NTCD strain, NTCD-M3, was shown to be safe and well tolerated in human volunteer trials and was used in the present study to determine if it would prevent recurrence of C. difficile infection in patients who had just completed treatment with vancomycin or metronidazole of either their first CDI episode or first recurrence of C. difficile infection. 168 patients were randomized to receive by mouth in a liquid form, either 10,000 spores/day of NTCD-M3 for 7 days, 10 million spores/day for 7 days, 10 million spores/day for 14 days, or an identical placebo for 14 days.  Primary outcome was safety, and secondary outcomes were the percent who colonized the gut with NTCD-M3 in the time period from end of treatment to week 6, and the rate of recurrent CDI in the patients at week 6. The results showed that NTCD-M3 was safe and well tolerated, and colonized the gut of 69% of patients who received it. The C. difficile infection recurrence rate was 30% in the placebo patients and 11% in patients who received any of the NTCD-M3 doses (P<.006). The best dose tested was 10 million spores/day for 7 days which resulted in a recurrence rate of only 5% (p<.01 vs placebo). Colonization of the gut was not permanent, but lasted a maximum of 22 weeks. The summary conclusion is that NTCD-M3 is safe, colonized the gut, and when it colonized the gut, reduced recurrence of C. difficile infection to 2% (p<.001 vs patients who were not colonized).
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Hand Washing, Hospital Acquired / 25.04.2015

Ojan Assadian, M.D., DTMH Professor for Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention Institute for Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention School of Human & Health Sciences University of Huddersfield Queensgate, Huddersfield UKMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ojan Assadian, M.D., DTMH Professor for Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention Institute for Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention School of Human & Health Sciences University of Huddersfield Queensgate, Huddersfield UK MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Assadian: Although medical gloves serve as an important mechanical barrier to prevent healthcare workers’ hands from getting contaminated with potentially pathogenic microorganisms, their inappropriate and incorrect use may support microbial transmission, eventually resulting in indirect horizontal cross-contamination of other patients. We conducted a clinical study designed to determine the efficacy of a newly developed synthetic antibacterial nitrile medical glove coated with an antiseptic, polyhexamethylen-biguanid hydrochloride (PHMB), on its external surface, and compared this antibacterial glove to an identical non-antibacterial glove in reducing surface contamination after common patient care measures in an intensive care unit. We found significantly lower numbers of bacteria on surfaces after performing typical clinical activities such as intravenous fluid handling, oral toilet, or physiotherapy, if touched with antibacterial gloves.
Author Interviews, C. difficile, General Medicine, Hospital Acquired / 10.10.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Esther van Kleef London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Response:  Existing evidence reveals a wide variation in estimated excess length of hospital stay (LoS) associated with healthcare-acquired C. difficile infection (HA-CDI), ranging from 2.8 to 16.1 days. Few studies considered the time-dependent nature of healthcare-acquired C. difficile (i.e. patients that spent a longer time in hospital have an increased risk of infection), and none have considered the impact of severity of healthcare-acquired C. difficile on expected delayed discharge. Using a method that adjusted for this so-called time-dependent bias, we found that compared to non-infected patients, the excess length of stay of severe patients (defined by increased white blood cell count, serum creatinine, or temperature, or presence of colitis) was on average, twice (11.6 days; 95% CI: 3.6-19.6) that of non-severe cases (5.3 days; 95% CI: 1.1-9.5). However, severely infected patients did not have a higher daily risk of in-hospital death than non-severe patients. Overall, we estimated that healthcare-acquired C. difficile prolonged hospital stay with an average of ~7 days (95% CI: 3.5-10.9) and increased in-hospital daily death rate with 75% (Hazard Ratio (HR): 1.75; 95% CI: 1. 16 – 2.62).
Author Interviews, C. difficile, Hand Washing / 30.09.2014

Kelly R. Reveles, PharmD, PhD The University of Texas College of PharmacyMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kelly R. Reveles, PharmD, PhD The University of Texas College of Pharmacy Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Reveles: Our study utilized data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Hospital Discharge Surveys. Patients were selected for this study if they were at least 18 years of age and had an International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) code for Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) (ICD-9-CM code 008.45). We found that Clostridium difficile infection incidence increased from 4.5 CDI discharges/1,000 total discharges in 2001 to 8.2 CDI discharges/1,000 total discharges in 2010. Mortality varied over the study period with peak mortality occurring in 2003 (8.7%) and the lowest rate occurring in 2009 (5.6%). Median hospital length of stay (LOS) was 8 days and remained stable over the study period. In summary, the incidence of Clostridium difficile infection in U.S. hospitals nearly doubled from 2001 to 2010, with little evidence of recent decline. Additionally, there does not appear to be a significant decline in mortality or hospital LOS among patients with Clostridium difficile infection.
Author Interviews, Hospital Acquired, Infections, NIH, Surgical Research, University of Pennsylvania, Wake Forest / 09.03.2014

William G Ward, Sr. MD Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chief of Musculoskeletal Service Line - Guthrie Clinic One Guthrie Square Sayre, Pennsylvania 18840 (Professor Emeritus - Wake Forest University Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery)MedicalResearch.com Interview with: William G Ward, Sr. MD Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chief of Musculoskeletal Service Line - Guthrie Clinic Sayre, Pennsylvania 18840 (Professor Emeritus - Wake Forest University Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery) MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of this study? Dr. Ward: The main findings of the study include:
  1. The use of disposable spun-lace “paper” gowns was associated with a dramatic decrease in the likelihood of culture-detected bacterial contamination on the surgeon’s gloved hand and gown sleeve.
  2. For a double-gloved surgeon, changing the outer glove just prior to implant handling should decrease bacterial contamination from the surgeon by about 50%.
  3. Bacteria suspended in saline solution transgressed the material of standard reusable scrub attire in 96% (26/27) of tested gowns and in 0% (0/27) of spun-lace disposable “paper” gowns.
Author Interviews, Hospital Acquired / 12.02.2014

Patricia W. Stone, PhD, FAAN Columbia University School of Nursing New York, NY 10032.MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Patricia W. Stone, PhD, FAAN Columbia University School of Nursing New York, NY 10032. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Stone: Our study found variation in the presence of infection control policies directed at central-line bloodstream infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia and catheter-associated urinary tract infections. Even when present, the policies were adhered to only about half of the time.
Author Interviews, CMAJ, Infections, Outcomes & Safety, Urinary Tract Infections / 18.09.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mohamad Fakih, MD, MPH Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control St John Hospital and Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Fakih: Urinary catheters are commonly used in the hospital.  Although they help in the management of the sickest patients, they also present a risk for infection and other harms to the patient. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) have made catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) publicly reportable, and no longer reimburse hospitals for these infections if they occur in hospital setting. The definition of CAUTI is based on the surveillance definition of the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We looked at clinician practice, including the Infectious Diseases specialist’s impression and compared them to the NHSN definition. We found a significant difference between what clinicians think is a urinary catheter infection and give antibiotics for it compared to the NHSN definition. The NHSN definition predicted clinical infection by the Infectious Diseases specialist in only about a third of the cases. We also found that Infectious Disease specialists considered patients to have true CAUTI in only half of what clinicians treated as CAUTI.
Author Interviews, Hospital Acquired, Johns Hopkins / 31.07.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bruce Y. Lee, MD MBA Associate Professor of International Health Director of Operations Research International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 855 N. Wolfe Street Suite 600 Baltimore, MD 21205Bruce Y. Lee, MD MBA Associate Professor of International Health Director of Operations Research International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 855 N. Wolfe Street Suite 600 Baltimore, MD 21205 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Lee: Vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE) is every hospital’s problem.  A VRE outbreak in one hospital, even if the hospital is relatively small or distant, can readily spread to other hospitals in a region because patients leaving one hospital often will go to other hospitals either directly or after an intervening stay at home.  These patients can then carry VRE with them to other hospitals.  Therefore, as long a single hospital has a problem with VRE or any other healthcare associated infection, all other hospitals are at risk.  Conquering VRE then requires cooperation among hospitals.