Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its latest issue of Vitalsigns, which focused on a call to action to stop the spread of antibiotic resistance. This issue focuses on the need for collaboration among healthcare facilities, as well as state and local health departments, to join together in a coordinated approach that, based on CDC modeling projects, could prevent 619,000 antibiotic-resistant and C. difficile infections and save 37,000 lives over five years.1
If you are wondering why this is such an important issue, the numbers provided by the CDC tell the story of how we are at a tipping point and action needs to be taken.
- Two Million – The number of illnesses caused by antibiotic-resistant germs in the United States each year.
- 23,000 – The number of deaths each year caused by antibiotic-resistant germs in the United States.
- 15,000 – The number of deaths each year in the United States directly attributed to C. difficile infections.2
According to the CDC, this coordinated effort is needed since germs can be spread inside of and between healthcare facilities when patients are transferred from one facility to another. In fact, lack of coordination between facilities can put patients at an increased risk. The CDC provides the following as a list of steps healthcare facilities can take now to help stop spread the antibiotic resistance.
- Implement programs to alert receiving facilities when transferring patients who have drug-resistant germs.
- Revisit and perfect infection control actions with your facility. According to Michael Bell, M.D., deputy director of the CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, “When receiving health care, tell your doctor if you have been hospitalized in another facility or country, wash your hands often and always insist that everyone have clean hands before touching you.”3
- Get leadership commitment to join healthcare-associated infection (HAI)/antibiotic resistance prevention activities in your area.
- Connect with the public health department to share data about antibiotic resistance and other HAIs.
- Make sure clinical staff have access to prompt and accurate laboratory testing for antibiotic-resistance germs.4
GOJO is proud to support the CDC in its fight against antibiotic resistance. We know preventive measures like handwashing and hand sanitizing reduce the risk of infection and, in turn, the need for antibiotics.
Learn more about the CDC’s latest efforts at www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/stop-spread.