In Focus, In the News: July 7, 2011

July 7, 2011

A daily synopsis 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



Louis Cooper, Gulf Breeze Hospital received Gold Seal accreditation., July 6, 2011.  “Gulf Breeze Hospital has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for accreditation by demonstrating compliance with the commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in hospitals ….”

Hospital staff underwent a rigorous unannounced on-site four-day survey in May. A team of Joint Commission surveyors evaluated the hospital for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients, including infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management.

Antibiotic Resistance

Maryn McKenna, How Much is a Drug-Resistance Death Worth?  Less Than $600Wired, July 5, 2011.  This is an excellent article written by Maryn McKenna, the author of Superbug and Beating Back the Devil, about Dr. Eli Perencevich’s presentation at the World HAI Forum.  (Dr. Perencevich is also one of the authors of the blog Controversies in Hospital Prevention).

Clostridium difficile (C. diff) Infections

(Scotland).  Scottish hospital infection rates continue to fallBBC News, July 6, 2011.  “Rates of infection from MRSA and C. difficile in Scottish hospitals have continued to fall.”

(Ontario, Canda).  Bradley Bouzane.  Tough road ahead to fight superbug outbreak at Ont. Hospitals: Bacteria Expert.  The Gazette, July 5, 2011.  About the C. difficile outbreak in the Niagara region.

(Canada).  Declaring outbreaks, July 4, 2011.  About the Niagara region C. diff outbreak.

(Guelph, Ontario, Canada).  Outbreak declared at Guelph General., July 6, 2011.  Outbreak of clostridium difficile (C. diff.) bacteria at Guelph General Hospital.

(Guelph, Ontario, Canada).  Guelph hospital C. Diff outbreak latest in Southern Ontario.  The Hamilton Spectator, July 6, 2011.  About the C. diff outbreak in Guelph.

Funding & Grants

Press Release, Cardinal Health Foundation Provides $1.2 Million in Grant Funding to Improve Patient Safety at the Point-of-CareCardinalHealth, June 21, 2011.  The Cardinal Health Foundation has provided “39 grants, totaling nearly $1.2 million, to help U.S. hospitals, health systems and community health organizations improve the effectiveness, efficiency and excellence of patient care.

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)

Michael Lemonick.  Supergerms, On Board the Final Shuttle: Studying Why Bacteria Thrives in SpaceTime, July 6, 2011.  This is a fascinating article about NASA’s plans to send eight vials of Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Staphylococcus aureus bacteria along for the ride when the space shuttle Atlantis takes off on Friday for the shuttle program’s final flight.

[Cynthia] Collins and [Jon] Dordick are scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. — a microbiologist and a nanotechnologist, respectively — and when the space shuttle Atlantis lifts off on Friday for the shuttle program’s final flight, their experiment could be crucial to the health of future astronauts. There’s evidence from earlier spaceflights that virulent bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella can grow stronger and faster in microgravity. Given enough time, they can form biofilms, slimy mats of bacteria that are highly resistant to antimicrobials. If the films get inside the body, riding on catheters or other medical equipment, the human im[m]une system may be powerless against them. That’s true even when the immune system is functioning at its best, but in space, for reasons nobody fully understands, the body’s disease defenses are weaker.

(Scotland).  Scottish hospital infection rates continue to fallBBC News, July 6, 2011.  “Rates of infection from MRSA and C. difficile in Scottish hospitals have continued to fall.”

People Making News in the Healthcare-Associated Infections Field

"Becky Elliott, Infection Preventionist, Muskogee Regional Medical Center"

Becky Elliott, Infection Preventionist, Muskogee Regional Medical Center. Photo credit: Muskogee Phoenix

MRMC infection prevention worker earns awardMuskogee Phoenix, July 6, 2011.  Becky Elliott, Muskogee Regional Medical Center infection preventionist, has received a certification of participation by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Quality Improvement Organization Program.

The certificate was awarded for 22 months of continuous reporting of quality data to the National Health Safety Network and participation in a 10-month collaborative effort with other Oklahoma hospitals supporting the use of evidenced-based practices for reducing the rate of health care-associated methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus infection in acute care settings.

Through the collaboration MRMC has been able to reduce the number of cases of MRSA infection in the Intensive Care Unit.

2011 Summer Fellowships in Government and Community Services.  Wisconsin Medical Society.  Adam Hofer, a student at the Wisconsin Department of Health, Division of Public Health Healthcare-Associated Infection Prevention Plan Team, Madison, has been awarded a 2011 Summer Fellowship by the Wisconsin Medical Society.  Adam will be studying the healthcare-associated infection prevention of Clostridium difficile.

The goal of the Foundation’s Summer Fellowship Program is to provide medical students with the opportunity to increase their knowledge of how community organizations and/or government entities work with the medical profession to address health issues in Wisconsin. Each student receives a stipend of up to $3,500.


(Copper Products).  David Zeiler.  Antimicrobial Copper Could Save Thousands of Lives, Billions of Dollars.  The Wall Street Examiner, July 6, 2011.

(Disposable GI Endoscopy). Press Release, Byrne Medical Announces Full Market Launch of The Universal Irrigation SolutionTM Hybrid.  Marketwire, July 5, 2011.  “Byrne Medical, the leader in disposable GI Endoscopy infection prevention solutions, announces the official release of The Universal Irrigation Solution™ Hybrid.”

Safe Injections

Bolarinwa, OA, AG Salaudeen, SA Aderibigbe, OI Musa, and TM Akande.  Knowledge and attitude of Primary Health Care Workers in a North Central State of Nigeria Toward Safe Injection.  International Journal of Academic Research, 3(3):209-214 (May 2011).

Abstract: The knowledge and attitude of Health workers has major role to play in safe injection practices. The objective of this research was to assess the knowledge and attitude of Primary Health Care Workers (PHCWs) on safe injection practices in a North central state of Nigeria. It was a cross-sectional study using a multi stage random sampling to select 247 PHCWs in Ilorin, Kwara state capital. Pretested semi structured questionnaire was used to collect data from selected PHCWs while Epi- info was used to analyze the data. Level of significance was set at p- value of < 0.05. It was observed that there were more than 60% of PHCWs that had good knowledge of unsafe injection while over 80% of them had good attitude. Only 36% of them could however mentioned correctly diseases that could be transmitted by unsafe injection while cadre (p=0.00064413), training (p=0.0000000) and years of experience (p=0.00194655) significantly affect their knowledge. It was therefore concluded that there was poor in- depth knowledge of safe injection among PHCWs and factors like cadre, training and years of experience have effect on their attitude and knowledge. It was recommended that there is need to intensify training on core aspect of safe injection among health workers in Nigeria.

Sterile Processing

Press Release, FDA Workshop Identifies Problems in Reprocessing Cannulated DevicesfreePRnow, July 4, 2011.  About an FDA public workshop that occurred in June 2011.

Speaking on behalf of healthcare facilities, Linda Condon, Director of Sterile Processing at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Baltimore, MD noted that 14,000 different instruments can pass through her department in any one day, and asked “how do you manage instrument reprocessing for all of these?” Condon called for the standardization of manufacturer’s instructions in order to overcome the daily challenges, including time constraints, staffing issues and a lack of co-ordination between the OR and Central Sterile.

Surgical Site Infections

Krieger, BR, Davis, DM, Sanchez, JE, Mateka, JJ, Nfonsam, VN, Frattini, JC, and JE Marcet.  The Use of Silver Nylon in Preventing Surgical Site InfectionsDiseases of the Colon & Rectum, 54(8):1014-1019 (August 2011).  “Silver nylon is safe and effective in preventing surgical site infection following colorectal surgery.”

Pauline Anderson, Surgical Protocol Significantly Cuts Shunt Infection Rate.  Medscape Medical News, July 5, 2011.  “A standardized protocol for shunt surgery in children with hydrocephalus reduces the risk for cerebrospinal fluid shunt infection.”

Surveillance Systems

Daniel, C, Choquet, R, Assele, A, Enders, F, Daumke, P, and M-C Jaulent.  Comparing the DebugIT dashboards to national surveillance systemsBMC Proceedings 2011, 5(Suppl 6):01 (June 29, 2011).  Oral presentation from the International Conference on Prevention & Infection Control (ICPIC 2011).  “The DebugIT project, funded by the 7th EU Framework Programme, provides an access to heterogeneous clinical data sets of different European hospitals.”  The researchers compared the DebugIT control capabilities to the French surveillance system (Institut de Veille Sanitaire (InVS)) and the antimicrobial resistance surveillance study of the Paul-Ehrlich-Society (PEG).


Employment Positions in Infection Control


Infection Control Manager.  Avon, South West, United Kingdom.  “Hospital Recruitment International (HRI) Ltd is looking for an experienced senior infection control nurse manager to work in our client’s NHS Treatment Centres in the south west.”

Assistant Director of Infection Control or Infection Preventionist.  Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York.  Posted on June 29, 2011.  “We are recruiting for an Assistant Director of Infection Control or an Infection Preventionist to participate in surveillance activities and educational programs, and plan, develop and execute the hospital’s infection control program in accordance with Federal, State and local requirements.”

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