The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls for increased prevention to protect patients from deadly staph infections from Staphylococcus aureus. Deadly staph infections are still a danger to the United States.
Vital Signs Report
According to a new Vital Signs report issued March 5, 2019 by the CDC, in 2017 more than 119,000 people suffered from staph infections in the blood and almost 20,000 died. These results also showed that hospital efforts to control infections were successful in reducing the numbers of serious staph infections by about 17% a year from 2005 to 2012 in the United States. However, recent data shows that this success is slowing and deadly staph still threatens patients.
The most deadly strains of staph are those that are resistant to treatment by antibiotics such as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). However, this report shows that methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) can also lead to deadly infections.
Rise in Staph Infections in the Community may be Linked to the Opioid Crisis
The CDC reported in 2018 that 9% of all severe staph infections in 2016 occurred in people who inject drugs and this was up from 4% in 2011. Patients who present with recurring staph infections could be an indication that they are injecting drugs. In this case healthcare providers should refer these patients to drug-addiction treatment. They should also be taught safe injection practices, wound care and how to recognize early signs of infection.
Staph is a type of bacteria found on human skin and on surfaces and objects that come in contact with human skin. The main danger of staph is if it gets into the bloodstream and causes serious infections that can lead to sepsis and/or death. See our blog post from June 20, 2019 about sepsis and a possible breakthrough in treating sepsis.
People who are at the Highest Risk for Contracting Deadly Staph Infections
People who are at the highest risk for contracting deadly staph infections are those:
- In hospitals or who have had surgery
- Who have medical devices placed in their bodies like intravenous lines (IV)
- Who undergo invasive procedures like dialysis
- Who inject drugs
- Who come into close contact with someone who has staph
Preventing Staph Infections in the Community
To prevent the spread of staph in the community people should:
- Keep their hands clean
- Cover wounds, especially if they are oozing and draining – See our blog post from February 1, 2019 about treating wounds and complex wound care.
- Avoid sharing items that come into contact with the skin like towels, razors and needles
Preventing the Spread of Staph Infections in Hospitals
To prevent the spread of staph infections in hospitals, the CDC recommendations should be carried out such as:
- Contact precautions (gloves and gowns)
- Review their facility infections data from the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN)
- Consider other interventions if they are not reducing rates of infection
Additional Prevention Measures to Prevent Staph in Facilities
- Screen patients at high risk
- Decolonization (special bathing or medication that reduces bacteria people can carry and spread during periods of high risk or for certain types of procedures
Complex Wound Care at Park Crescent Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center
Complex Wound Care at Park Crescent Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in East Orange, New Jersey offers one of the most cutting-edge wound care programs in the area. Physicians and hospitals repeatedly refer their patients with complex wounds to Park Crescent for treatment. The outcomes have been truly outstanding. Patients who had been suffering for years with chronic open wounds have experienced successful results, attaining total closure of their wounds and restarting a healthy productive lifestyle
it certainly pays for us to do everything to stop the spread of deadly staph that can lead to dangerous infections in our homes and hospitals.