A growing problem in seen in health care settings is antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 2 million patients get infections from hospitals annually, and nearly 90,000 die. The number has increased dramatically in the last two decades and is likely to continue to rise as more strains become resistant. As a result, workers in health care have a new problem to condend with.
Some of the dangerous strains include drug resistant strains of Acinetobacter, Enterobackter aerogenes, E. Coli, methicilin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and vancomysin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA). Even diseases such as tuberculosis, gonorrhea, and malaria are sometimes more difficult to treat because the strains develop resistance to previously effective drugs.
Overuse of antibiotics create selection conditions for bacteria to mutate and become resistant to antibiotics. Hospitals that house many critically ill immune-compromised patients are good breeding grounds for the existing drug resistant bacteria tospread.
According to Ricki Lewis, Ph.D, the exact extent of antibiotic resistance is not completely clear because of the lack of coordination among hospitals (Lewis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2012). Michael Blum, MD, of the of the Food and Drug Administration’s division of anti-infective drug products states that “(e)ach hospital monitors it’s own resistance, but there is not good national system to test for antibiotic resistance” (Lewis, Ph.D, UNL, 2012).
Facilities may need to coordinate a system for tracking antibiotic resistance strains and work together to reduce the incidences of infection. The increase in resistant infections may also threaten the health of health care workers. Current anticeptic techniques of health care workers and hospital disinfection protocols do not appear to be enough to combat the problem anymore. For more information, take a look at these links.