Summer Quick Hits (with the Award for the Most Eyebrow-Raising Article Title of the Year)
Trying to recover from summer vacation (Alaska = thumbs up, especially during a summer heat wave) and gear up for a new school (and blogging) year, so here are a few quick hits from recent articles:
Two articles highlight several HAIs that aren't often included in surveillance and prevention efforts:
- Len Mermel has a nice systematic review in CID examining the burden of bloodstream infection related to short-term peripheral venous catheters (a.k.a. peripheral IVs - not midline or PICCs). Used in a substantial number of hospitalized patients (esp. as we're better about central line necessity), these devices have a much lower risk of BSI when compared to central venous catheters (2-64 fold higher risk for CVCs); however, given the vast number of devices used (Len estimates ~200 million adult patients in the U.S. annually), the number of BSI events are likely high. A number of interesting details are in the paper, so worth checking out.
- A nice commentary out of the UK in Lancet Respiratory Medicine advocates for an increased focus on healthcare-associated pneumonia, particularly that which occurs outside of the ICU (and is not ventilator-associated).
Finally, a paper that wins the award for the most eyebrow-raising title of the year: "Hematophagous Ectoparasites of Cliff Swallows Invade a Hospital and Feed on Humans." Try reading that without saying "What?? Gross." The authors outline their nosocomial "outbreak" of two ectoparasites related to a massive swallow roost on the outside of a community hospital. One inpatient noted a rash illness, and testing of ticks and bugs identified the presence of human blood in 17% of the captured critters. Hospital invasion! Feeding on humans! Talk about a riveting agenda for your next infection prevention committee meeting!