As the 2018 Winter Olympics draw to a close, we remember so many performances by talented and determined athletes from around the world. The speed, agility, strength, and stamina of these young men and women is obvious. Less obvious are the complex rules and scoring for the 15 winter sports and their 102 events. In a way, the complicated rules and scoring might remind someone of the complicated algorithms for hospital scoring! Taking this idea a little further, we wondered... What if hospitals were scored like Winter Olympics sports?
Less than a century ago, in a world without antibiotics and limited treatments for infections, the leading causes of death were infections - pneumonia or flu, followed closely by tuberculosis and gastrointestinal infections. Everyone knew someone who had died from one of these infections, and most families had experienced the tragedy of losing at least one young child to infection. No one was spared this very human experience, not even United States presidents. In today's post, as we learn about how pathogens impacted the lives of our presidents, we'll get a better picture of just how pernicious infections were just a short time ago.
It's no wonder why we have long associated the heart with life and love. It races when we are nervous or exerting ourselves. It beats with comforting regularity, loud enough for us to hear when we rest our heads against a loved ones chest. Its pulse is an indicator of health and life, a central hub keeping our body functioning. And unfortunately, when this central hub is affected by an infection, the entire body is at risk. Today we will explore how hospital-acquired infections can affect the heart, often with far-reaching implications.
The first African-American to join the American Society for Microbiology was a woman. The first African-American to receive a PhD in Microbiology was a woman. And that woman, who overcame obstacles not only related to race but also gender, was Dr. Ruth E. Moore. We take a moment today to recognize this important scientist, whose contributions to the field as a researcher, professor, and leader have inspired generations of microbiologists.
February marks a month to celebrate the vital role of African-Americans in our nation's history. Today, we will take some time to recognize an incredible individual who left a tremendous legacy in the world of microbiology, saving countless lives in the process. Please join us as we remember Dr. William A. Hinton, researcher, physician, mentor, and leader.
Language is by far the most astonishing difference between humans and all other life on Earth. The richness, diversity, prevalence and pervasiveness of language and communication throughout all cultures in every part of the world attests to the critical connection between words and thought, words and culture, and words and survival. As humans discovered, explained, or invented, they built upon familiar concepts and familiar terms, leading to a language that evolved alongside civilization. Today's post will explore the fascinating history of some of the key terms in microbiology, and reveal how science and language helped each other along into the modern era.
Are all hospital-acquired infections due to contaminated surfaces? It turns out that some infections - even those as the result of a procedure - are not due to contaminated surfaces, devices, or heath care workers. Sometimes a patient becomes infected by germs in their environment, but sometimes the infections stems from microorganisms in or on their own bodies. Today's post will explore both types of infections and the implications for hospital infection control.
Pharmacists are an essential part of a medical team. While many people believe the pharmacist only dispenses medication, their impact on healthcare is far more significant. Hospital pharmacists, for example, can be responsible for making purchasing decisions, monitoring drug therapy, preparing IV medication, and overseeing drug administration. It is this last responsibility that has the greatest impact on infection control: The hospital pharmacists can play a significant role in antibiotic stewardship, one of the key components of reducing dangerous infections.
We live in a time of tremendous advancements in science and medicine. We can save premature babies, reattach severed limbs (how about heads?), and research looks promising to wipe out some pretty terrifying diseases. And yet even recently, humanity still believed some pretty crazy things about where diseases come from... and each of them share haunting similarities to some beliefs we encounter today.
It's that time of year when we all put on our prognosticator's hats and try to predict what the next year will bring. There are numerous entities that have put forth their predictions for healthcare in 2018, so instead of duplicating their fine work, we will try something new. We have gone through all the predictions we could find for healthcare, and put together a list of those we believe will impact infection prevention and control. We hope you enjoy our list!