Dressings for the prevention of surgical site infection

Dumville, J.C et al. (2016) Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews . Issue 12. Art. No.: CD00309

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Image source: Cochrane

Background: Surgical wounds (incisions) heal by primary intention when the wound edges are brought together and secured, often with sutures, staples, or clips. Wound dressings applied after wound closure may provide physical support, protection and absorb exudate. There are many different types of wound dressings available and wounds can also be left uncovered (exposed). Surgical site infection (SSI) is a common complication of wounds and this may be associated with using (or not using) dressings, or different types of dressing.

Authors’ conclusions: It is uncertain whether covering surgical wounds healing by primary intention with wound dressings reduces the risk of SSI, or whether any particular wound dressing is more effective than others in reducing the risk of SSI, improving scarring, reducing pain, improving acceptability to patients, or is easier to remove. Most studies in this review were small and at a high or unclear risk of bias. Based on the current evidence, decision makers may wish to base decisions about how to dress a wound following surgery on dressing costs as well as patient preference.

Read the full review here

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What You Should Know About Mumps: A Disease From the Past Makes a Resurgence

Mumps may seem like a contagion relegated to history books, but like many other diseases of the past now preventable with a vaccine, mumps has been making a resurgence | Infection Control Today

B0006271 Mumps virus protein in cultured cells

Image source: Paul Duprex – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 

Cases are at 10-year high and are especially common on college campuses across the country. Now the Dallas area is seeing the largest outbreak in Texas in years. Cristie Columbus, MD, vice dean of the Texas A&M College of Medicine’s Dallas campus and an infectious disease specialist, explains what people need to know about the mumps.

What is mumps?: Mumps is caused by a virus, specifically a type of Rubulavirus in the Paramyxovirus family. Before the vaccine was widely introduced in the United States in 1967, nearly every child would become infected. Although cases have declined more than 99 percent since then, outbreaks do still occasionally occur.

What are the symptoms of mumps?: The classic symptom of mumps is swollen salivary glands, which causes puffy cheeks and a swollen jaw that can make it difficult to eat. Other symptoms, which last seven to 10 days, may include a fever, fatigue and head and muscle aches. Some people—possibly as many as 40 percent of those infected—may have only very mild symptoms (if they have any at all), and therefore might not realize they have the disease. Still, they may be able to spread the virus to others.

How long after being infected do symptoms usually appear?: Symptoms can appear between 12 and 25 days after the initial infection, but usually people begin experiencing them 16 to 18 days after they are infected.

Read the full overview here

The burden of healthcare associated Clostridium difficile infection in a non-metropolitan setting

Bond, S.E. et al. The Journal of Hospital Infections. Published online: December 18 2016

Objective: Healthcare-associated Clostridium difficile infection (HCA-CDI) remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in industrialised countries. However, few data exist on the burden of HCA-CDI in multisite non-metropolitan settings. This study examined the introduction of an antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) in relation to HCA-CDI rates and the effect of HCA-CDI on length of stay (LOS) and hospital costs.

 

Conclusions: HCA-CDI placed a significant burden on our regional and rural health service through increased LOS and hospital costs. Interventions targeting HCA-CDI could be employed to consolidate the effects of ASPs.

Read the full abstract here

UCLA Researchers Combat Antimicrobial Resistance Using Smartphones

A team of UCLA researchers has developed an automated diagnostic test reader for antimicrobial resistance using a smartphone | Infection Control Today

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The technology could lead to routine testing for antimicrobial susceptibility in areas with limited resources. Antimicrobial-resistant bacteria are posing a severe threat to global public health. In particular, they are becoming more common in bacterial pathogens responsible for high-mortality diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea and sepsis. Part of the challenge in combatting the spread of these organisms has been the limited ability to conduct antimicrobial susceptibility testing in regions that do not have access to labs, testing equipment and trained diagnostic technicians to read such tests.

Read the full overview here

 

 

Helping parents spot the signs of sepsis

Sepsis awareness campaign will help parents and carers of young children recognise the symptoms of sepsis.

A nationwide campaign has been launched to help parents spot the symptoms of sepsis to protect young children and save lives.The campaign is principally aimed at parents and carers of young children aged 0 to 4.

The campaign, delivered by Public Health England and the UK Sepsis Trust, follows a number of measures already taken by the NHS to improve early recognition and timely treatment of sepsis. This includes a national scheme to make sure at-risk patients are screened for sepsis as quickly as possible and receive timely treatment on admission to hospital.

Leaflets and posters are being sent to GP surgeries and hospitals across the country. These materials, developed with experts, will urge parents to call 999 or take their child to A&E if they display any of the following signs:

  • looks mottled, bluish or pale
  • is very lethargic or difficult to wake
  • feels abnormally cold to touch
  • is breathing very fast
  • has a rash that does not fade when you press it
  • has a fit or convulsion

The UK Sepsis Trust estimates that there are more than 120,000 cases of sepsis and around 37,000 deaths each year in England.

Click Here to Download Sepsis Symptoms Poster

Surgical site infections (SSI) surveillance: NHS hospitals in England

This annual report covers surgical site infection (SSI) data collected by NHS hospitals and independent sector NHS treatment centres.

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Image source: PHE

This report is a summary of data on surgical site infections (SSIs) collected by NHS hospitals and independent sector (IS) NHS treatment centres in England participating in one of 17 surgical categories of surveillance between April 2004 and March 2015. The results include orthopaedic data submitted by hospitals following the mandatory surveillance requirement introduced by the Department of Health in April 2004 [1]. This requires all NHS trusts undertaking orthopaedic surgical procedures to carry out a minimum of three months’ surveillance in each financial year in at least one of four categories (hip prosthesis, knee prosthesis, repair of neck of femur or reduction of long bone fracture). Trusts with very small volumes are exempt from the mandatory surveillance but are expected to undertake surveillance in a category that reflects the largest component of their surgical activity.

Read the full report here

Smartphone text message service to foster hand hygiene compliance in health care workers

Kerbaj, J. et al. American Journal of Infection Control. Published online 9 December 2016

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Background: Health care-associated infections are a major worldwide public health issue. Hand hygiene is a major component in the prevention of pathogen transmission in hospitals, and hand hygiene adherence by health care workers is low in many studies. We report an intervention using text messages as reminders and feedback to improve hand hygiene adherence.

Conclusions: Text message feedback should be incorporated into multimodal approaches for improving hand hygiene compliance.

Read the full abstract here