Erica Mitchell

Recent Posts

It’s Infection Prevention Week!

by Erica Mitchell | October 16 2018

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.

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Conference Poster Presentations

by Erica Mitchell | October 11 2018

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.

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What is HICPAC?

by Erica Mitchell | September 28 2018

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.

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SCOBY: Microbiology's Odd Couple

by Erica Mitchell | September 21 2018

A seismic shift in human civilization occurred when we learned how to plant and harvest our own food. The advent of agriculture meant access to more plentiful and more reliable food than a hunter-gatherer lifestyle could ever provide. However, as any amateur gardener knows, agriculture also means your whole crop is ready at around the same time. In order to make a crop full of produce last longer, people needed to discover ways to keep their harvest from going bad. Meat could be salted or smoked, fruit could be dried or cooked, but for everything else, there was fermentation. And for fermentation, you need microbiology's Odd Couple.

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Hurricane Epidemiology: After The Storm

by Erica Mitchell | September 12 2018

Florence is about to pummel North and South Carolina. Right behind, Isaac and Helene are brewing. In the Pacific, Olivia is heading to Hawaii, with Paul just behind. Asia is facing Barijat and Mangkhut. Welcome to hurricane season, 2018! Areas facing storms are preparing to weather high winds, heavy rain, and flooding. However, as with all hurricanes of this magnitude, the dangers to life and limb are not limited to the duration of the actual storm- the weeks that follow bring a whole new set of dangerous conditions. Today's post will explore the dangers that involve infectious disease and the overall access to medical care.

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What is the Continuum of Care?

by Erica Mitchell | September 7 2018

Discussions about healthcare often involve the expression "continuum of care." Why is this description becoming more common? What can we learn about the state of healthcare today by unpacking this term? Today's post will explore what is meant by this popular phrase.

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Silver vs Copper: Which is the better biocide? [SERIES]

by Erica Mitchell | August 30 2018

Since mankind began using metals, both silver and copper have been used to keep mildew, mold, fungi, and other spoilage at bay. Both metals were even known by the ancients to have anti-infection benefits. We know today that both silver and copper have biocidal properties, and as a result, numerous products have appeared on the marketplace touting these properties as effective in the fight against hospital-acquired infections.  Which is the better choice for use in healthcare facilities? To answer this question, we will compare the two metals across 6 criteria over the next series of posts.

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Red Tide: A Coastal Infection

by Erica Mitchell | August 23 2018

Along hundreds of miles of Florida coast, residents - both human and otherwise - are having to contend with an annual event, the Red Tide. In today's post, we'll explore how the coastal contaminant shares many characteristics of a healthcare associated infection. 


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Fighting Wildfires and Fighting Infection

by Erica Mitchell | August 7 2018

Over the past few weeks, firefighters have been working to control massive fires throughout northern California. These are lethal fires, claiming the lives of 7 individuals to date, consuming entire neighborhoods as they grow and spread. All of us have seen the images of destruction, and the headlines capture the urgency of the response teams as they fight to control this powerful force of nature. Those of us in infection control may see in these fires similar traits with an opportunistic pathogen, spreading quickly through a patient's body and leaving destruction in its wake. It turns out this comparison is as old as the science of infection control itself, tracing back to a word coined in the 1800s: Fomites.

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PCR Chain Reaction and Infection Control, Part 2

by Erica Mitchell | August 3 2018

Polymerase Chain Reaction, or PCR, allows us to quickly identify a pathogen from a small sample. This rapid identification is a helpful change from traditional culturing methods, which can take several days. In today's post, we will explore how faster identification leads to better patient outcomes.

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