Before COVID-19, deaths from antimicrobial resistance were headed in the right direction, decreasing by nearly 30% in hospitals between 2012 and 2017. But in 2020, resistant hospital-onset infections and deaths both increased by 15% compared to 2019.
We’ve reached a moment in time where many officials are rolling back mitigation efforts like masking, testing, and rules about gathering. The CDC has updated its guidance to measure community risk for COVID-19 through three primary metrics: new cases, new hospitalizations for COVID-19, and current hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. These metrics underscore the importance of leveraging in-depth data to assemble a more detailed view of near-term risk that goes beyond case numbers.
The World Health Organization declared the contagion a global health emergency July 23 and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said the declaration “is a call to action for the global health community,” and that his agency and others will be accelerating plans to make “to make vaccines, testing, and treatments available to people in need.”
Nursing home residents are at increased risk of developing infection with multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs), so the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated Enhanced Barrier Precautions (EBPs) for nursing facilities to protect residents.
The CDC has updated its guidance on infection control of monkeypox for healthcare settings, reminding providers that any case suspected of being of the more deadly Congo Basin clade requires more extensive precautions, including the handling of hazardous medical waste.
The long-awaited updates were among the many new requirements from its 2019 final rule burden reduction as well as other rules on discharge planning published just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Quality, Safety and Oversight Group memo, QSO-22-19-NH, outlines the updates, which are part of a White House effort announced earlier this year to improve safety and quality of care in nursing homes. The APIC alert also notes that CMS has online training for surveyors and nursing home stakeholders on CMS’ Quality, Safety, and Education Portal (QSEP).
While the primary risk is from close contact with bodily fluids, including contaminated linens, “because of the theoretical risk of airborne transmission of monkeypox virus, airborne precautions should be applied whenever possible,” said the CDC. “If a patient presenting for care at a hospital or other health care facility is suspected of having monkeypox, infection control personnel should be notified immediately.”
Sepsis develops in response to infection, and it can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. Sepsis is the leading cause of in-hospital death in the United States. More than 1.7 million Americans are diagnosed with sepsis annually.
Many groups are laying out strategies for better mitigating disease transmission in future pandemics, ranging from the White House’s National COVID Preparedness Plan to the Rockefeller Foundation’s Roadmap for Living With COVID. Meanwhile, Dr. Tom Talbot, chief hospital epidemiologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, encourages health systems to implement practices for securing more inclusive feedback, standardizing simple practices, and gauging success.