New Technique to Control Infection in Patients with Catheters, Drains

People with inserted medical devices are more prone to infection. In the U.S., approximately 5 million patients with drains and catheters receive treatment for life-threatening infections. To overcome this medical challenge, researchers have developed a strategy to reduce the chance of developing infections among such patients. However, their unique infection control technique diminishes both overall infection and infection due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Active Bathing to Eliminate Infection, a clinical trial where the researchers have assessed effectiveness of their two infection control techniques. These two techniques are chlorhexidine (soap) bathing and targeted mupirocin (nasal antibiotic) for MRSA – patients with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. However, these two techniques in ICU care have shown striking results in reducing infections.

Twice-daily Nasal 2% Mupirocin Ointment and Daily Bathing

Dr. Mary Hayden, a professor of internal medicine and pathology at Rush University has raised questions about non-ICU patients. He was curious to know the effectiveness of these infection control techniques among patients who were not critically ill. However, further research on this has cleared Hayden’s doubt. Researchers found the ineffectiveness these techniques among non-critical care patients as they could not reduce bloodstream infections.

Infection control techniques are highly favorable for patients with inserted medical devices such as lumbar drains, and midline catheters. They are highly susceptible to infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This antibiotic-resistant bacteria – strains of enterococcus bacteria and MRSA, are highly resistant to vancomycin, a common drug to treat infections. Therefore, a combined intervention of chlorhexidine and mupirocin benefits MRSA carrier patients to reduce vancomycin-resistant enterococcus culture in their body.

As a result, the HCA healthcare system is planning to adopt this new decolonization strategy to comfort patients with inserted devices.

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