How some hospitals, nursing homes are teaming up against antibiotic-resistant infections

Hospitals and nursing homes in Illinois and California are bathing patients in the antibacterial soap chlorhexidine as part of two CDC-funded studies to decrease antibiotic-resistant infections, reports NPR.

Three things to know:

1. The research is based on the principle that infections can spread quickly through healthcare networks.

"No healthcare facility is an island. We all are in this complicated network," John Jernigan, MD, director of the CDC's office on healthcare-associated infections, told NPR.

2. The Illinois research project focuses on 14 nursing homes and long-term acute care hospitals in Chicago. Researchers are working with staff members to screen new patients for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae and bathe them with chlorhexidine daily.The initiative also features a hand hygiene campaign and efforts to improve interhospital communications about patients with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The study ends in September, so results are still pending.

3. In California, 36 hospitals and nursing homes in Orange County are using chlorhexidine daily on patients, along with an iodine-based nose swab. The goal is to prevent patients from getting antibiotic-resistant bacteria and stop those with the bacteria from developing infections. The project ends in May, and initial results look promising, according to NPR. After 18 months, researchers found a 25 percent drop in drug-resistant organisms among nursing home residents.

To view the full article, click here.

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