The Tough Fight Against the CRE Bacterium
Besides the constant care of patients, healthcare facilities have one more thing on their hands: the CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae) bacteria. This lethal enemy is unfortunately growing to be very common in intensive care settings to the point that there is an alert rising due to this. Four factors make this bacterium extremely dangerous:
a- Half of the patients that become infected with CRE die
b- It is extremely difficult to treat as it is resistant to almost all antibiotics
c-Patients that undergo surgery or need a dialysis are prone to getting infected much more easily as it spreads quickly though the bloodstream
d-Commonly present in intensive care surroundings
Other patients that are at a high risk of getting infected with this terrible bacteria are those who must use a urinary catheter, intravenous catheters and also those who need to take antibiotics for a long period of time.
Through the years, this threat has been on the rise and the number of cases found in hospitals on the first 6 months of last year is a truly alarming fact. In the year 2001 1.2% of hospitals appeared as "carriers" of the CRE bacterium. In a matter of a few months the numbers escalated to an alarming rate. In the first six months of 2012 it went up to 4.6%. Presently it was been detected in hospitals of 42 states.
Tennessee, Oregon, Minnesota, Colorado, Wisconsin, and North Dakota are six states that have reported openly about their cases and other states are starting to be upfront about it too. Most of the cases have appeared in the Northeastern and Southern states.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has asked health care providers to be more careful and be on the lookout for patients that have been infected with the CRE. These patients must be segregated along with the personnel that treats them. They must be completely separated from personnel that treat patients without CRE and patients who do not have it as well.
I don't know I would say we need to bolster a call to action. The fact that these organisms are on the increase, and are incredibly difficult to treat, and are in some cases untreatable by the antibiotics we have available to us, is evidence enough that we need to take action to stop these before they become a bigger problem. That is definitely not the correct way to target this. Action must be taken against this threat when it is still at the early stages of its development.
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