In a study recently published online in JAMA Internal Medicine, the researchers found that a multimodal targeted infection program (“TIP”) implemented in nursing homes reduces the overall prevalence of multidrug-resistant organisms (“MDROs”) and infections in nursing home residents who have urinary catheters and feeding tubes (“indwelling devices”).
The study’s authors conducted randomized clinical trials between May 2010 and April 2013 at 12 community-based nursing homes. The participants in the clinical trials were nursing home residents who had urinary catheters, feeding tubes, or both, and were considered at high-risk for developing infections.
In order to test whether TIP reduces the prevalence of MDROs and device-related infections, the researchers used preemptive barrier precautions, active surveillance for MDROs and infections, and education for nursing home staff.
The study involved 418 nursing home residents with indwelling devices. The study involved 6,557 anatomic sites; there were a total of 34,174 device-days. While the study found no reductions in new vancomycin-resistant enterococci or resistant gram-negative bacilli acquisitions, and no reductions in new feeding tube-associated pneumonias or skin and soft-tissue infections, the rate of new methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureas acquisitions was found to be lower in the group of nursing home residents for whom the infection control precautions were implemented as compared to the control group of nursing home residents.
In short, the study found that the implemented TIP interventions reduced multi-drug resistant infections at the participating nursing homes by 23%.
The study’s authors concluded, “Our multimodal TIP intervention reduced the overall MDRO prevalence density, new methicillin-resistant S aureus acquisitions, and clinically defined catheter-associated urinary tract infection rates in high-risk NH residents with indwelling devices. Further studies are needed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of this approach as well as its effects on the reduction of MDRO transmission to other residents, on the environment, and on referring hospitals.”
The study’s finding that implementing proper infection-control precautions and techniques taught to nursing home staff who are responsible for the daily care of nursing home residents (and when the nursing home staff are properly supervised to insure that the infection-control procedures are, in fact, properly used in resident care) reduces the incidence of indwelling device infections should be no surprise to anyone — health care professionals have routinely been instructed (in modern times) that they must employ proper infection-control precautions in order to reduce the spread of infection among their patients that may be life-threatening and which burdens the national heath care system with billions of dollars in additional costs and expenses that are diverted to treat avoidable infections.
There are two important prongs to infection-control in the health care field that are critical, both individually and together, in successfully controlling the spread of infection among patients/nursing home residents: the appropriate infection-control precautions must be established and all caregivers properly educated as to the infection-control precautions and the precautions must be consistently and effectively implemented, each and every time — a momentary (or worse) lapse in implementing infection-control precautions (such as washing hands before and after each patient contact) may result in patients/nursing home residents acquiring infections that they did not previous have and suffering unnecessary pain, mental anguish, or other harm.
If you or a loved one acquired a serious infection from a health care provider, a nursing home, or another health care facility that may be due to inadequate or improper infection control, you may be entitled to compensation for your economic losses and noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and/or disfigurement caused by the medical negligence.
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