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.
While protecting the health and well-being of patients and staff is the top priority for healthcare facilities, it can also be a significant challenge. Even though hospitals use protective measures to reduce the transmission of germs, HAIs and COVID-19 continue to threaten facility occupants.
As we, and the healthcare industry, continue to work our way toward a post-pandemic world, the lessons learned from COVID-19 remain stark and the calls to rebuild a resilient patient safety culture are loud and clear. Organizations such as the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the CDC, and CMS are highlighting challenges, including staffing shortages and burnout, that must be addressed to better prepare for future prevention of healthcare-associated infections.
The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) just announced the release of an updated version of ANSI/AAMI ST91:2021 Flexible and semi-rigid endoscope processing in health care facilities. The last version of the standard formulated by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and AAMI was released in 2015.
There is an ongoing struggle between antibiotic resistant infections—superbugs such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus—and the makers of antibiotics. The global death toll is alarming, with more than 1.2 million people dying annually, and estimated mortality expected to reach 10 million people annually by 2050.