allaboutestates, Written on January 31, 2012 – 7:43 am | by Audrey Miller
There is a Canadian wide shortage of hospital beds and a Canadian wide philosophy to move people through the system as quickly as possible. I had previously blogged on the emotional issues of bed blockers which continues to make headlines. This focus on this blog is on what nature is doing to address this problem or perhaps what it is doing to further complicate this problem. C Difficile and MRSA. C Difficile is defined by the Mayo Clinic as follows: “Clostridium difficile often called C. difficile or C. diff, is a bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon. Illness from C. difficile most commonly affects older adults in hospitals or in long term care facilities and typically occurs after use of antibiotic medications.
In recent years, C. difficile infections have become more frequent, more severe and more difficult to treat. Each year, tens of thousands of people in the United States get sick from C. difficile, including some otherwise healthy people who aren’t hospitalized or taking antibiotics. Mild illness caused by C. difficile may get better if you stop taking antibiotics. Severe symptoms require treatment with a different antibiotic.”
MRSA is defined as: “Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is caused by a strain of staph bacteria that’s become resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat ordinary staph infections.
Most MRSA infections occur in people who have been in hospitals or other health care settings, such as nursing homes and dialysis centers. When it occurs in these settings, it’s known as health care-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). HA-MRSA infections typically are associated with invasive procedures or devices, such as surgeries, intravenous tubing or artificial joints.”
These are two hospital friendly diseases that make the lives of sick people- even sicker. In addition, isolation becomes necessary and hospital stays are longer and for many, complications from these diseases can end in death. According to Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, hospital acquired infections are the fourth largest killer in Canada. Each year, 220,000- 250,000 hospital acquired infections result in 8,000-12,000 deaths. Thirty to fifty percent of these hospital-acquired infections are preventable.
Prevention is the same for both of these hospital based diseases and it is as basic as it gets- Wash Your Hands.