Although the United States has successfully decreased health care-associated infections (HAIs), antibiotic-resistant bacteria are still a force to be reckoned with.
In order to better combat this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a new Vital Signs report, providing guidance on how to use multiple measures to fight them, and the Antibiotic Resistance Patient Safety Atlas, which provides information on infections that can come from antibiotic-resistant bacteria. CDC Director Tom Frieden stated that many of these bacterias are infecting patients while in the hospital, hindering them from getting better and rendering them sicker and capable of sepsis or death.
Six antibiotic-resistant bacteria have been studied in acute care hospitals, and found that one of every seven HAIs from catheters and surgery come from these bacteria, and that it increased to one in every four infections in patients that remained in the hospital more than 25 days. The report also discussed the decrease in Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), a bacteria that causes the most amount of infections in hospitals.
The CDC asks anyone involved in health care, from state to local levels, to continually work to prevent HAIs, including attempting to stop the bacteria transmission between patients, halt infections due to surgery and catheters, and increase antibiotics.
Alongside the CDC, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) -- and regulations requiring reports of contracted HAIs -- have assisted in decreasing infection rates.
Congress has also provided $160 million to the CDC to move forward with their National Action Plan for Combatting Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria, which will work to better equip states for prevention, reporting, research and antibiotic use -- hopefully to further limit HAIs in the future.