Despite solid evidence supporting improved practices for hand hygiene, vascular access, and patient skin disinfection, "adherence to evidence-based, basic, preventive measures is abysmal," University of Iowa researchers report. "These failures may help to explain why up to 7 percent of patients undergoing surgery continue to contract at least one postoperative infection."
In the midst of an increase in the spread of antibiotic-resistant S. aureus pathogens from acute care settings to healthy members of the community, researchers from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics identified and characterized the epidemiology of particularly pathogenic S. aureus sequence types (STs) in the operating room. S. aureus isolates were collected from three academic medical centers. Transmission dynamics for hyper transmissible, strong biofilm-forming, antibiotic-resistant, and virulent STs were assessed by using a systematic phenotypic and genomic approach combined with a new software platform, OR PathTrac (RDB Bioinformatics, Omaha, NE). The transmission story for these key pathogens was mapped and reported.
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"The increase in the spread of S. aureus pathogens beyond the acute care setting is alarming, but we know that there are evidence-based practices that can address this critical patient safety issue," said Randy W. Loftus, MD, lead study author from the Department of Anesthesia, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA, USA. "The goal of the study was to increase awareness around the transmission of the different strains, with the aim of improving compliance with proven infection control measures."
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