Risk of drug-resistant infections increases 1% for each day in hospital

There's a strong relationship between time in the hospital and time to infection from a multidrug resistant pathogen, according to a new study presented at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC).

Researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina analyzed 949 incidents of documented Gram-negative infection, such as pneumonia, bloodstream infections or surgical site infections, between 1998 and 2011 to check for the relationship between the number of days in the hospital from admission to day of infection, according to the study. Multidrug resistance (MDR) was defined as a resistance to more than one drug within three antibiotic classes.

Each hospitalization day increased the likelihood of infection with an MDR pathogen by 1 percent, and hospitals should consider these findings in selection of empiric antibiotic treatment for such infections, the study found. "At the very least, this observation argues against both unnecessary hospitalization and unnecessarily long hospitalization," John Bosso, author of the research, said in an ICAAC statement.

More than 2 million people get sick each year as a result of drug-resistant infections and roughly 23,000 people a year die from the illnesses, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

There is some good news in infection prevention: hospital-acquired infections among children fell substantially between 2007 and 2012, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics. After analyzing data from more than 230 U.S. hospitals, researchers found central line-associated bloodstream infections dropped in NICUs from 4.9 percent to 1.5 percent per 1,000 central line days, while PICUs dropped from 4.7 to 1.0. Ventilator-associated pneumonias dropped from 1.6 to 0.6 per 1,000 ventilator days in NICUs, and from 1.9 to 0.7 in PICUs.

To help combat antibiotic resistance, researchers from Oregon State Public Health lab modified the protocol for a new inexpensive test, Carba NP--which can provide results on the dangerous CRE bacteria within hours, according to a separate ICAAC presentation. The Carba NP test is relatively inexpensive and something most labs should be able to afford.

To learn more:
- read the study abstract
- check out the statement
- here's the Pediatrics study
- read the Carba NP presentation statement

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