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Nation's Top Healthcare Organizations Announce Strategies to Prevent Deadly Healthcare-Associated Infections : Strategies emphasize practical implementation in acute healthcare settings
Date:10/8/2008

ons as possible," said SHEA spokesperson Deborah S. Yokoe, M.D., lead author of the strategies.

With the support or endorsement of an additional 29 healthcare organizations, the Compendium is a good starting point for addressing this critical public health issue before it worsens.

"In developing these strategies, we looked at all existing HAI guidelines and literature to create recommendations that are understandable, easy-to-use and stress accountability," said David Classen, M.D., IDSA spokesperson and co-author of the strategies.

Six of the most important preventable HAIs with the greatest impact on morbidity and mortality were identified. Recommendations are prioritized into two categories: basic practices for all acute care hospitals and special approaches for extraordinary circumstances.

Two sections focus on preventing spread of specific organisms:

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)Staphylococcus aureus, also known as "staph," is a very common germ that many people have on their skin or in their nose. This germ can sometimes cause serious infections of the skin, blood, lungs or open wound. MRSA infections are harder to treat because fewer antibiotics are effective once the staph bacteria become resistant to methicillin (a common antibiotic). Clostridium difficile Infection (CDI)Clostridium difficile, also known as C. diff, is a type of bacteria that can cause diarrhea and in some cases, serious intestinal infections. C. diff can increase hospital stay as well as increase costs, morbidity and mortality in adult patients. Four sections focus on device-and procedure-associated HAIs:

Central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI)Patients, especially those requiring intensive care, often need central lines (also called central venous catheters) for fluids or medications. A CLABSI occurs when microorganisms travel down the catheter and enter the blood.
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