LA BioMed News

Common Hospital Soap Effective in Preventing Hospital-acquired Infections
Thursday, May 28, 2015

Study finds Bathing Patients in Chlorhexidine Reduced MRSA Contamination

LOS ANGELES – (May 15, 2015) – Holding hope for a relatively inexpensive way to improve care and prevent the spread of deadly hospital-acquired infections, a new study presented today reports that bathing patients in a common hospital soap, called chlorhexidine, was equally effective in preventing the transmission of the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) as the common practice of having healthcare workers avoid physical contact with the patients.

James McKinnell, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed) presented the findings at the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America Spring 2015 meeting in Orlando. He said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently recommend “contact precautions,” which include wearing gowns and gloves during patient visits, to avoid the spread of MRSA and other diseases in healthcare settings. Patients placed in contact precautions derive no benefit from the programs, but these patients do assume a higher risk of hospital complications.

The new study challenges the practice of using contact precautions to avoid infections and may provide a possible alternative strategy that could improve patient care. Dr. McKinnell’s research group found fewer MRSA contamination events when patients were only bathed in chlorhexidine compared to when patients were subject to contact precautions.

“Our research indicated bathing patients may be as effective in preventing disease transmission as the current practice of limiting contact with patients,” said Dr. McKinnell. “Further study is needed, but these findings could hold great significance for finding a relatively inexpensive and effective way to prevent the spread of potentially deadly hospital-acquired infections and improve patient care.”

He said patients placed in contact precautions spend less time with their doctors and may have a lower quality of care. Unfortunately, he said, contact precautions have become so prevalent that over 15% of hospitalized patients are exposed to the physical isolation and risks associated with limited contact with healthcare workers.

The study of chlorhexidine compared patient transmission and environmental contamination with MRSA in three intensive care units (ICU) over a six-month period. The researchers documented nine MRSA environmental contamination events during the period of time when the hospital ICU staff was using only contact precautions to prevent the spread of disease. The researchers documented fewer MRSA contamination events – seven – during the time when the only precaution taken was bathing the patients in chlorhexidine.

MRSA and other hospital acquired infections are a growing healthcare concern. The CDC reported that on any given day, about one in every 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection. Its survey found an estimated 722,000 hospital-acquired infections in U.S acute care hospitals in 2011, the most recent year for which it has data. It also found 75,000 hospital patients with these infections died during their hospitalizations.

About LA BioMed
Founded in 1952, LA BioMed is one of the country’s leading nonprofit independent biomedical research institutes. It has approximately 100 principal researchers conducting studies into improved treatments and therapies for cancer, inherited diseases, infectious diseases, illnesses caused by environmental factors and more. It also educates young scientists and provides community services, including prenatal counseling and childhood nutrition programs. LA BioMed is academically affiliated with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and located on the campus of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. For more information, please visit www.LABioMed.org

How to Avoid CRE Outbreaks
Friday, May 8, 2015

Rise in Infection Rates is Topic for IDAC Presentation May 2 in Costa Mesa

LOS ANGELES – (April 20, 2015) – At the Infectious Disease Association of California (IDAC) symposium in Costa Mesa on May 2, James McKinnell, MD, a Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed) infectious disease specialist, is scheduled to discuss how physicians can protect their patients against Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), a family of bacteria that are difficult to treat because they have high levels of resistance to antibiotics.

Dr. McKinnell will present data on the number of CRE infections and estimates for the number of deaths currently attributed to CRE. He will also address the challenges for the healthcare system in addressing CRE, and the relatively short window for responding to the influx of CRE to Southern California.

“These are the bacteria that keep healthcare professionals up at night,” said Dr. McKinnell. “We already have very serious outbreaks in New York and other parts of the United States, and we don’t want to see CRE gain a foothold in California. We need a coordinated response to guard against the emergence of the deadly bacteria in healthcare settings.”

Dr. McKinnell is scheduled to deliver his presentation, entitled “The Rise of Carbapenem-Resistance in California and How We Can Protect Our Patients,” at 1:20 p.m. May 2 at the Westin South Coast Plaza Hotel, 686 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA 92626.

“All of us who deliver care in hospital and other healthcare facilities should be aware of the threat and ensure we are taking appropriate measures to protect against CRE outbreaks,” Dr. McKinnell said.

About LA BioMed
Founded in 1952, LA BioMed is one of the country’s leading nonprofit independent biomedical research institutes. It has approximately 100 principal researchers conducting studies into improved treatments and therapies for cancer, inherited diseases, infectious diseases, illnesses caused by environmental factors and more. It also educates young scientists and provides community services, including prenatal counseling and childhood nutrition programs. LA BioMed is academically affiliated with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and located on the campus of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. For more information, please visit www.LABioMed.org

Thursday, May 7, 2015

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