Infection Control Today

JUN 2019

ICT delivers to infection preventionists & their colleagues in the operating room, sterile processing/central sterile, environmental services & materials management, timely & relevant news, trends & information impacting the profession & the industry

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Page 11 of 35

8 ICT June 2019 Bug of the Month Warfare Against an Antibiotic is in Our Name Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) O ur clan's claim to fame is resisting the enemy; in this case, it's an antibiotic that is used very commonly in hospitals. Wouldn't you like to know which one? Sorry, you'll have to fgure that one out on your own! We call the human intestines and the female genital tract our home-sweet-home, but we like to get around; you'll also fnd us in the environment, because, well, we have an affnity for great real estate. The Pilgrims aren't the only colonists; I think we invented the concept frst, and you'll know when we've set up camp — we can cause infections of the urinary tract, the bloodstream, or of wounds associated with catheters or surgical procedures. We don't colonize just anyone; we prefer patients be part of an exclusive club, including those who have been previously treated with antibiotics for long periods of time, and those who have weakened immune systems such as patients in intensive care units, or in cancer or transplant wards. We especially like to prey upon patients who have undergone surgical procedures such as abdominal or chest surgery, and those with indwelling medical devices that stay in for some time such as urinary catheters or central intravenous (IV) catheters. But back to the colony; we're sly little devils, as we can be present but offer up no symptoms of an infection. But if and/or when we do create mayhem, the infections we cause can be treated with antibiotics other than the one famous therapeutic that shall remain nameless. But you'll have to be willing to conduct some laboratory testing so you can better determine which antibiotics will work. Just because I like you, I'll give you a little piece of friendly advice; for people who get infections in their bladder and have urinary catheters, removal of the catheter when it is no longer needed can also help get rid of the infection. But don't get too cocky on us; we are very effective at being passed from person to person by the contaminated hands of healthcare personnel, because, well, you guys just won't wash your hands like you're supposed to. We can hitch a free ride onto a caregiver's hands after they have contact with other people who are infected with us, or after contact with contaminated surfaces. We can also be spread directly to people after they touch surfaces that are contaminated with us, but there's good news — we can't fy through the air by coughing or sneezing. That's a shame, because it seems like it would be so much fun; the infuenza virus gets all the great assignments. If you don't want us hanging around (which is hard to believe), there are a few things you can do to try to cut down on our population. The biggest threat to our survival is when people keep their hands clean. You can bump us off by always washing your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom and Sponsored by GOJO Industries before preparing food. Clean your hands after contact with persons who have us, and wash with soap and water (particularly when visibly soiled) or use alcohol-based handrubs — ouch, that stings! Frequently clean and decontaminate areas that may become contaminated with us. And wear gloves if your hands may come in contact with body fuids that may contain us, such as stool or bandages from infected wounds. I can't believe I'm telling you this, as my survival depends on you not doing it, but always wash your hands after removing gloves. I shouldn't have to tell you any of this, as your institution should already employ special precautions to help prevent our spread to others. Who am I? Unmatched Effcacy, Unparalleled Skin Care PURELL ® Healthcare Advanced Hand Sanitizers outperform other sanitizers ounce-for-ounce. ©2019. GOJO Industries, Inc. All rights reserved. | #28133

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