Our slow motion pandemic
Today the CDC releases it’s latest edition of Vital Signs, which is dedicated to the problem of antibiotic resistance (AR) among healthcare-associated pathogens. Using data from NHSN, CDC investigators estimate that the likelihood an HAI is caused by a targeted AR pathogen is one in seven in acute care facilities, and one in four in long term acute care.“We keep fantasizing about what will be the next biothreat, the next pandemic. It’s actually already here! We’re going to save our grandparents with triple bypass, but they’re going to die from pneumonia, because we will not have the right antibiotics to save them.”
There's good news in the report—the figure below shows impressive progress in reducing CLABSI rates, and to a lesser extent SSI and C. difficile. CAUTI, though, is a mixed bag (pun intended), and Mike’s covered this ground before. For reasons that Eli and our colleague Dan Livorsi outline here, it’s a shame that CAUTI has become such a prevention focus. Ironically, an unhealthy focus on CAUTI can drive testing and treatment practices that can result in antibiotic overuse, worsening the AR epidemic.
Today the CDC is also releasing the “AR Patient Safety Atlas”, a new web app with interactive data on HAIs caused by AR bacteria. I am about to post a more detailed item from Scott Fridkin about this exciting new development. Stay tuned!