According to the findings of a new research, very few nursing homes follow the recommended isolation precautions for residents with multi-drug resistant infections, which may place other nursing home residents at risk of the serious and potentially life-threatening “superbug” infections.
About 2 million people get sick every year with antibiotic-resistant infections in the U.S. and about 23,000 die. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says one in 25 U.S. hospital patients has caught an infection while in the hospital.
The study was published last month in The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The researchers at the Columbia University School of Nursing found that isolation procedures were used on only about 13% of all nursing home infection cases involving drug-resistant strains. The study involved nearly 200,000 nursing home residents with multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO) infections between October 2010 and December 2013.
The researchers determined “Isolation was infrequently used, and the proportion of isolated MDRO infections varied between facilities. Further research is needed to determine whether and when isolation should be used to best decrease risk of MDRO transmission and improve quality of care.”
MRSA infections, which are resistant to treatment by penicillin-based antibiotics, have accounted for more than 60% of hospital staph infections in recent years. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that about 126,000 hospital MRSA infections occur each year, resulting in about 5,000 deaths. However, some researchers suggest that the number of deaths from MRSA in the U.S. is closer to 20,000 annually.
Isolation precautions can include placing nursing home residents in private rooms, or having them wear protective clothing. These steps are designed to prevent the spread of infections by “superbugs” which can be particularly dangerous for the elderly, as well as those with compromised immune systems.
As a partner with D'Arcy Johnson Day, Andrew D'Arcy has been involved in some of the nation’s most high-profile cases and investigations. His practice includes serious automobile accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death and product defect cases. Andrew has been personally responsible for numerous multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts on behalf of his clients. He has been recognized by his peers as an "AV" rated attorney, the highest possible rating given by Martindale-Hubbell publication. Andrew has been named a "Super Lawyer" by New Jersey Monthly magazine each year consistently since 2013.