CDC Highlights New Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

PUBLISHED: Apr 4, 2018
Relevant to: Ambulatory Care, Critical Access Hospitals, Home Health, Hospitals, Long Term Care, Medical Office, Pharmacy, Rural Health Clinics

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a new report addressing antibiotic resistance (AR). According to the CDC, more than 23,000 Americans die each year from infections caused by germs resistant to antibiotics. While AR threats vary nationwide, AR has been found in every state. Unusual resistance germs, which are resistant to all or most antibiotics tested and are uncommon or carry special resistance genes, are constantly developing and spreading. Lab tests uncovered unusual resistance more than 200 times in 2017 in “nightmare bacteria” alone.

The CDC's Containment Strategy is desigend to keep germs with unusual resistance from spreading in health care facilities and causing hard-to-treat or even untreatable infections. For example, the CDC estimates show that an aggressive approach could prevent 1,600 cases of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) in one state over three years. Health departments can lead the Containment Strategy and act swiftly with health care facilities and the CDC at the first sign of unusual resistance. See the new Vital Signs report for actions that Health Departments can take.

Recommendations for health care facilities include:

  • Plan for unusual resistance arriving in your facility. Such planning could include ensuring a comprehensive antibiotic resistance program. Find resources:
  • Ensure Hospital Leadership works with local the health department to stop spread of unusual resistance. Infection control policies and procedures should be reviewed regularly.
  • Clinical labs should know what isolates to send for testing. Establish protocols that immediately notify the health department, health care provider, and infection control staff of unusual resistance. Validate new tests to identify the latest threats. If needed, use isolates from
  • Healthcare providers, epidemiologists and infection control staff should place patients with unusual resistance on contact precautions, assess and enhance infection control, and work with the health department to screen others. Communicate about status when patients are transferred. Continue infection control assessments and colonization screenings until spread is controlled. Ask about any recent travel or health care to identify at-risk patients.

Included with today’s notice are example policies that address antibiotic resistance and the above CDC recommendations. Vital Signs is a report that is part of the CDC’s morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and is intended to provide the latest date and information on key health indicators.

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