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New Government Website Tackles Long-Term Care Infection

Posted By Sally Abrahms On January 30, 2014 @ 11:57 am In Take Care | Comments Disabled

new CDC website to prevent infection in long-term care settings [1]

click image to enlarge

You’ve heard it before. You go into the hospital for one thing and come out with another: a whopping infection contracted there. Did you know that you’re also at risk for infection in assisted living and nursing homes? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [2] (CDC) has just launched a website to help put the brakes on infection in long-term care settings.

The numbers are big. Every year, the CDC [3] estimates that 1 million to 3 million long-term care residents contract an infection. They include urinary tract infections, diarrheal diseases and antibiotic-resistant staph. When these infections strike, residents can wind up in the hospital [4], or worse. It’s estimated that as many as 380,000 die annually from infections in long-term care.

One type of bacteria common in long-term care and hospitals is clostridium difficile, known as C. difficile. [5] Typically, older adults get it after being on antibiotics and receiving medical care. Again, the figures are formidable. More than 14,000 Americans die each year from it.

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I haven’t seen the fallout from C. difficile, but I have of staph - and it is terrifying. My mother was newly recovering at home from two consecutive surgeries for blood clots, only to get a virulent staph infection in the hospital that nearly cost her her leg. I watched it literally race through her body. I rushed her to the hospital and the doctors rushed her into surgery. They cut out a massive chunk of her thigh, going in so deeply she looked like she had a war wound.

Older man in hospital bed [7]

The new CDC website offers tips on how long-term care residents can avoid infections of all types (of course, hand washing is on the list, as is speaking up about your safety or a loved one’s, and asking questions about having a central line).

With resources, fact sheets, infection-specific tool kits and a national infection tracking system for long-term care facilities, the site will be a boon to long-term care residents, clinicians, nursing home and assisted living staff, and state health departments.


Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control [2] and SelectStock/iStockphoto [8]

Sally Abrahms [9]writes about boomer and senior caregiving [10], housing [11] and age 50+ work [12]. Find her on Facebook [13] or Twitter. [14]

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Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org

URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2014/01/30/new-government-website-tackles-long-term-care-infection/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Screen-Shot-2014-01-27-at-9.54.48-AM.png

[2] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/longtermcare/

[3] CDC: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/12/19/cdc-many-food-workers-dont-wash-hands-and-worse/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-BL

[4] hospital: http://www.aarp.org/health/doctors-hospitals/info-03-2012/protect-yourself-from-hospital-errors.html?intcmp=AE-BLIL-DOTORG

[5] C. difficile.: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/c-difficile/basics/definition/con-20029664

[6] >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter: http://www.aarp.org/online-community/people/subscribeFromEmail.action?id=19061&intcmp=ILC-EMAIL-SUB-HLTH

[7] Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/iStock_000019788411Medium.jpg

[8] SelectStock/iStockphoto: http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-19788411-older-man-in-hospital-bed.php?st=c52ab43

[9] Sally Abrahms : http://www.sallyabrahms.com

[10] caregiving: http://blog.aarp.org/author/aarpsally/

[11] housing: http://www.sallyabrahms.com/articles/baby-boomers-housing/finding-your-niche-housing-in-retirement-or-before

[12] age 50+ work: http://www.sallyabrahms.com/articles/boomers-work-and-lifestyle/older-workers-please-apply

[13] Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sally.abrahms

[14] Twitter.: https://twitter.com/sallyabrahms

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