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article imageOne day in hospital raises drug-resistant bacteria infection risk

By Tim Sandle     Sep 9, 2014 in Health
If a patient contracts an infection while in the hospital, then each day of hospitalization increases the likelihood that the infection will be antibiotic resistant by one percent. This alarming finding comes from a new study.
In the U.S. around 1 in 25 hospital patients is suffering from least one healthcare-associated infection. With these, over a third of infections are caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria (of which the majority are types morphologically grouped as Gram-negative). A hospital-acquired infection is an infection whose development is favored by a hospital environment, such as one acquired by a patient during a hospital visit or one developing among hospital staff.
Keen to determine if the risks associated with this increased significantly based on the length of stay in a hospital, a group of medical microbiologists undertook a data-led examination.
To derive at this conclusion, researchers based at the Medical University of South Carolina analyzed historical data from 949 documented cases of bacterial infection at a medical center. They found that in the first few days of hospitalization the percentage of infections associated with antibiotic resistant bacteria was around twenty per cent. This risk factor proceeded to rise steadily until four or five days. It then climbed dramatically upwards, peaking at over thirty-five per cent at 10 days.
Further statistical analysis indicated an additional one per cent risk per day of hospitalization. The researchers say that their findings argue against both unnecessary hospitalization and unnecessarily long hospitalization.
Another point is putting in place measures to reduce infection risk. By focusing prevention efforts on surgical site infections, infections associated with the use of devices such as central lines, catheters and ventilators, good handwashing, the uses of disinfectants and anti-septics, the infection rate can be reduced.
The new research, which has yet to be published, was presented at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) an infectious disease meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.
More about Hospital, Infection, Bacteria, Antibiotics
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