As the holiday season approaches, many of us are planning to travel to see loved ones or take a well-deserved vacation. A growing number of Americans are planning a different type of trip: Going abroad for medical care. From elective procedures to fertility services, more and more Americans are traveling to developing countries to receive medical care at a fraction of the cost similar procedures would cost in the US. While these numbers have not grown at the pace some predicted, there is still a significant portion of our population who will be participating in what is now called "medical tourism." Today's post will explore what potential medical tourists should consider in order to avoid a healthcare-associated infection.
We spend a good amount of time on this blog discussing the new uses of the biocidal properties of copper. We look to the past civilizations that used copper to kill bacteria without knowing the mechanisms behind it - the Ancient Egyptians who used copper in wounds, the Ancient Greeks who used it in plumbing, and the seafaring explorers who used it to store drinking water. But there is actually a far, far more ancient use of copper to combat infection: Our own innate immune system.
This Thanksgiving season we are grateful for the growing body of research into the biocidal activity of copper - in any form. Over the past two years, numerous studies have emerged from all over the world demonstrating the ability of copper to not only kill bacteria in the lab, but also in patient rooms. We are thankful for this research because it serves to solidify the scientific foundation upon which our mission is built: To lead with the science and let the data speak for itself. And also because it brings us closer to the ultimate goal of zero harm.
In the October 2018 12.1 iPhone update, a number of emoji premiered that should get any phone-carrying, text-message-typing Infection Preventionist in a good mood. Nestled among the smilies, foods, holidays, and flags are a lab coat, a sponge, a bar of soap, DNA, a test tube, and most excitingly, a microbe and a cultured petri dish! We can only imagine the ways you all will use these new emoji! In honor of this new addition, we’re going to examine how infection control activities involve social media.
One of the tools available to infection preventionists, hospital epidemiologists and healthcare practitioners is the antibiogram. While not all facilities or networks will have an up-to-date version of this report, they are becoming more common. What is an antibiogram and how can it be used? In simple terms, an antibiogram is a report that shows how susceptible strains of pathogens are to a variety of antibiotics.
Anyone who reads about the recent fatal healthcare-associated infections in New Jersey shares in the nation's sorrow at the loss of children to a potentially preventable condition. No group, however, can truly understand the emerging details about these cases better than the national community of infection preventionists. These healthcare workers know what a complex and demanding job it is to keep patients safe from HAIs. But as more details emerge from both outbreaks, they serve to remind the nation that infection prevention is an essential component of any healthcare facility, requiring dedicated funding for staff and supplies.
The concept of safety is nothing new: Anything that protects us from injury or death has surely been on the mind of humankind since we were hunter-gatherers on the savanna surrounded by carnivores. But mere survival is no longer enough! We want to be able to do what our hearts and minds imagine, but still be mindful of our weaknesses and vulnerabilities. As a result, every field of human endeavor has safety as an essential component, not the least of which are health and medical care. In today's post, we'll look at what unifies all safety concerns across all fields, and highlight some critical inventions that make hospital care safer for everyone.
This is the week that the international infection prevention community has selected to bring attention to what they do every day: Help protect patients from avoidable infections while in the care of a healthcare facility. What can you do to participate? Here are a few ideas.
It's not a journal article. It's not an oral presentation. But it IS a little of both. In today's post we'll discuss the ins and outs of conference poster presentations, just one of the many ways to disseminate your research and contribute to your field. We'll look at what the posters typically contain, provide some design ideas, and conclude with some of the conferences that might accept research in infection prevention.
We are fortunate to live in a nation that offers a rich variety of non-profit organizations that support our health and well-being, including groups whose sole focus is to eradicate HAIs. Today's post will explore one of the most important national groups working to end preventable hospital-associated infections, most commonly known as HICPAC.