Infectious disease specialists improve 5-year outcomes for staph patients

Having a consultation with an infectious disease specialist was associated with improved outcomes for patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia after leaving the hospital, a study published in JAMA Network Open found.

Researchers examined data for 31,002 staph patients discharged from 116 acute care units of the nationwide Veterans Health Administration. They collected initial hospitalization data from January 2003 to December 2014, and follow-up data through Sept. 30, 2018.

They found that among the patients, there were 18,794 deaths and 4,772 recurrences of staph during the five years of follow-up. Around 49.5 percent of the patients consulted with an infectious disease physician during their initial hospital stay. The patients who received the consultation had a reduced risk of death and lower risk of staph recurrence for five years after hospital discharge compared to the patients who did not receive the consultation.

The findings suggest that "contributions of infectious disease specialist may have a substantial influence on long-term outcomes," researchers said.

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