CDC Offers Guidelines to Physicians to Reduce Spread of Drug-Resistant Bacteria in Hospitals
As part of an effort to slow the spread of potentially fatal drug-resistant bacteria in hospitalized adults, the CDC yesterday launched a new campaign to provide physicians with advice on antibiotic use, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Unveiled during the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases in Atlanta, the "Campaign to Prevent Antimicrobial Resistance" recommends four "broad strategies" to slow drug resistance:
- Prevent infections;
- Diagnose and treat infections effectively;
- Use antibiotics "wisely"; and
- Prevent the spread of infections.
The CDC has developed 12 action steps, derived from evidence-based guidelines and recommendations, that clinicians can take to implement the strategies, such as using available vaccines like the flu shot; taking blood cultures of hospitalized patients to ensure they receive the proper medications; removing catheters quickly; and limiting "last-resort" antibiotic use. The tips will be available on posters, pocket cards and a Web site. Speaking at the conference yesterday, Dr. Julie Gerberding, acting deputy director of the CDC's National Center for Infectious Diseases, said that the guidelines could save the lives of "tens of thousands" of hospitalized patients who are infected with a drug-resistant bacteria each year. "These bugs develop resistance faster than we are developing antibiotics to combat them. We can't wait till the next drug comes along. We have to take action now," Gerberding said, adding, "We want to make sure people really appreciate how rapidly and how ominously this problem is evolving in health care settings." CDC recommendations for surgical and dialysis patients will be issued later this year (McKenna, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 3/27). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.