Stop the CRE Superbug, Save your Residents!
As a health care administrator, you have a responsibility to make every effort to protect your residents. With a “nightmare bacteria” lurking, it is imperative that you take strong measures to ensure that this does not become a threat to your facility. The bacteria, known as Carbapenen-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, are extremely dangerous for several reasons. They are resistant to all or nearly all antibiotics, they kill up to half of patients who get bloodstream infections from them and they can transfer their antibiotic resistance to other bacteria within the family. Almost 200 hospitals and long-term acute-care facilities treated patients infected with these bacteria during the first half of 2012. Most CRE infections occur in patients receiving care for serious conditions in hospitals, long-term acute-care facilities (such as those providing wound care or ventilation) or nursing homes. These patients often have catheters or ventilators, which can allow bacteria “to get deeply into a patient’s body,” said Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What can you do? The CDC said that the spread of the germs can be controlled with proper precautions and better practices. Standard infection control precautions include washing hands and dedicating staff, rooms and equipment to the care of patients with CRE. Hospital staff should remove invasive devices, such as catheters, as soon as possible. Prescribing antibiotics wisely can significantly reduce the problem. The more we use antibiotics, the more we encourage the spread of antibiotic resistance,” Frieden said. Please contact LTCAdministrator.com for more information about CRE bacteria or for important resources about preventing or reporting CRE infections.