In Focus, In the News: July 13, 2011

July 13, 2011

A daily selection of healthcare-associated infection (HAI) news: current research, news articles, commentaries, and press releases.  In Focus, In the News is published Monday – Thursday on the HAI Focus blog.

Current News About Healthcare Associated Infections


Antibiotic Resistance

Source:  Molecular Detection Inc. Receives Notice of Allowance for US Patent Application Broadly Covering Detection of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.  PR Newswire, July 12, 2011.

Bloodstream Infections

Rosenthal VD, et al.  Socioeconomic impact on device-associated infections in limited-resource neonatal intensive care units: findings of the INICCInfection, published online July 6, 2011.  “Hospital type and country socioeconomic level influence DA-HAI rates and overall mortality in developing countries.”

(Pennsylvania).  Reinforcing methods to curb catheter infection., July 11, 2011.

Sticking a big catheter into a large vein in the neck, chest, or groin is an efficient way to administer drugs and fluids. The practice also has carried a persistent risk of bloodstream infection – one that used to be written off as unavoidable.

No longer. Hospitals across the country, including 13 in the Philadelphia region, are now trying to copy a statewide effort in Michigan in which many hospitals reduced their rate of these potentially lethal infections to zero.

(Ohio).  Julie M. McKinnon. Hospitals Cutting Infections, Issues from central-line catheters have dropped.  Toledo Blade, July 8, 2011.

Clostridium difficile (C. diff) Infections

(Ontario, Canada).  Hospital unions push province on C.diff funding.  The Gazette, July 12, 2011.  “The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions is calling on the Ministry of Health to increase funding to Ontario hospitals so they have more housekeeping staff and infection control resources.”

(Ontario, Canada). Bradley Bouzane.  Death toll climbs in Ont. C. difficile outbreak., July 12, 2011.  “The Niagara Health System announced another death Tuesday linked to the C. difficile outbreak that has gripped a number of its hospitals this summer, raising the related death toll in that Ontario region to 21.”

(Canada). Grant LaFleche.  Another C. diff patient dies while NHS gets passing grade for handling outbreak.  The Standard, July 12, 2011.  “While one more C. difficile patient has died and another new hospital-acquired infection was reported in St. Catharines Tuesday, the Niagara Health System received a report indicating it is on the right track generally to manage its ongoing C. difficile outbreak.”

(Canada). Public Health Ontario.  (St. Catharine’s General Site).  Report submitted: July 12, 2011. Click to download the Report.

(Canada). Vik Kirsch. U of G joins fight against superbugs., July 12, 2011.

Hand Hygiene

(London).  Jonathan Sher.  Hospital hands not clean., July 12, 2011. “While a hospital-acquired superbug that’s spread through poor hygiene has left 15 dead in Niagara, more than one in four care providers at London hospitals aren’t washing their hands before seeing patients.”


(Partnership for Patients).  Ken Terry.  Patient Safety Front and Center.  Hospitals & Health Networks, July 2011.

Litigation, Product Liability

Brain Damage Lawsuit Filed Over Contaminated Alcohol Prep Pads., July 12, 2011.  About a product liability lawsuit involving Triad alcohol prep pads.

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)

Source:  Molecular Detection Inc. Receives Notice of Allowance for US Patent Application Broadly Covering Detection of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.  PR Newswire, July 12, 2011.

Molecular Detection Inc. (MDI), a company developing Detect-Ready® assays designed to increase the speed and accuracy of infectious disease diagnosis, today announced that it has received a notice of allowance from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a patent application titled “Methods, Compositions and Kits for Detection and Analysis of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria.” The allowed claims cover a key aspect of MDI’s PCR-based technology platform, which accurately distinguishes between samples containing MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus), MSSA (methicillin sensitive S. aureus) and mixed populations of bacteria by amplifying and evaluating multiple gene targets.

Public Reporting of Infection Rates

Jeff Kreisberg.  How Safe is Your Hospital?  News Taco, July 13, 2011.  Excellent article by Jeff Kreisberg, the author of “Taking Control of Your Healthcare,” about using HealthGrades to choose a hospital.

The annual HealthGrades Patient Safety in American Hospitals study found that patients have a 46% lower risk of experiencing a patient safety incident at a top-rated hospital compared to a poorly rated hospital. The study analyzed 40 million Medicare patient records from 2007 to 2009.

HealthGrades is America’s most trusted, independent source of physician information and hospital quality outcomes. HealthGrades’ online properties are the nation’s leading destination for physician search and empower more than 200 million consumers annually to make informed health care decisions.

Surgical Site Infections

Chen CL, Shore AD, Johns R, Clark JM, Manahan M, and MA Makary.  The Impact of Obesity on Breast Surgery Complications.  Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3182284c05.  Published online June 9, 2011. “Obesity is associated with a nearly twelve-fold increased odds of a postoperative complication after elective breast procedures.”


Employment Positions in Infection Control


Infection Control Coordinator.  SSM Health Care.  St. Louis, Missouri.  Under general supervision, utilizes the surveillance process and epidemiological principles to identify health care-associated and community acquired infections and biological environmental hazards. Acts as a resource person. Provides employee, patient, and family education regarding infections, communicable disease and prevention and control measures.

Director of Infection Control.  Boles & Company.  California. “Reporting to the Director of Clinical Process Improvement, this position oversees the planning, organizing, communicating, directing and controlling functions necessary to ensure overall operational viability for Departments which are assigned. Departments that are assigned include Infection Control and Employee Health. Requires broad knowledge of clinical and administrative requirements and accreditation/licensure standards. Coordinates classification and reporting of all patient, employee, and significant community acquired infections identified at the Medical Center. Actively participates in Tenet’s partnership For Change Program and is responsible for the Infection Control data entry and follow-up reports.”


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