Traditionally, disease has been presented as an army of creepily crawly microbes, lurking on every surface and wafting through the air, waiting to jump up onto our skin or sneak into our nostrils to infect us.
But in an eternally ironic twist of circumstances, the very thing that we use to fight off the bacterial invader might actually be our most fickle foe. According to the medical journel Lancet, antibiotic resistance is now “a global health concern.”
With friends like that, who needs enemies?
The increased exposure to all sorts of antibiotics in our everyday lives has made it so that bacteria that used to be wiped out by a dose of antibiotics have developed resistant strains.
Over the coming year, the world will learn more about our MRSAid™ photodisinfection technology and its ability to prevent surgical site infections. The last patients in the year long quality improvement program at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) will be treated next month, giving us a chance to look retrospectively at how surgical site infections were affected at this major hospital. This program, involving over 5,000 patients at VGH, sought to reduce infections in all patients undergoing cardio, vascular, neurological, thoracic, breast, spinal and orthopaedic surgeries. Data from this analysis is expected in the late fall and results are expected to be announced at Infection Control Conferences in 2013.
People who carry MRSA or MSSA are at much greater risk of self infection when they are immunocompromised and weakened after surgery. Up to 30% of patients are simply unable to defend themselves from the tenacious bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus which lie dormant in the nose, waiting for opportunities to invade the body. Eliminating the bacteria carried in the nose prior to surgery has been proven to reduce the rate of surgical site infections. From a number of other studies (including Bode et al “Preventing SSIs In Nasal Carriers of Staph”), we have learned that eliminating both MRSA and MSSA from the nose prior to surgery reduces surgical site infections (SSIs) by up to 56% and total healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) by up to 79% in non-surgical admissions.
Our MRSAid™ Photodisinfection procedure has been well received at VGH and represents a promising approach to improve patient safety in other healthcare facility settings… Photodisinfection (is) ideal for hospital settings as it eliminates the need for patient compliance as it can be administered just prior to surgery- Carolyn Cross, Chairman and CEO of Ondine.
Less than a year ago, Vancouver General Hospital implemented the MRSAid™ Photodisinfection System as part of a year-long infection control Quality Improvement Project. Since then, we are very pleased to announce that we have treated over 2,500 patients, making this one of the largest PDT studies in the world. The project is being undertaken with the objective of reducing the incidence of surgical site infections in selected surgical populations.
Many people do not know that the nose is the primary site for bacteria colonization. The average person touches their nose more than 100 times a day, and if they touch their nose and then touch their surgical site, they are at risk of giving themselves an infection that was completely preventable. Many studies have demonstrated a significant reduction in surgical site infections after nasal decolonization of both Staph and MRSA. It is therefore critical to continue the development of non-antibiotic treatments that eliminate potentially deadly bacteria from the nose.
It has become increasingly clear that MRSA is a significant health challenge for the present and the future. Not only does it kill more people each year than AIDS in the US, but it is also a significant source of unnecessary patient pain and suffering. In Britain, the National Health Service has recorded a spike in contamination and infection rates, going from 2% in 1990, to 43% in 2002.
One of places currently undergoing major transitions in order to adapt to the growing problem of MRSA is the hospital environment. Here, the key element is the staff responsible for day-to-day operations concerning MRSA, namely, the health personnel. Previous studies done in this area have tended to ascribe the high incidence of MRSA infection in hospitals to a lack of staff knowledge on the subject. However, this theory has proved insufficient.
In a 2011 study, Elizabeth Morrow, Peter Griffiths, G. Gopal Rao, and Debbie Flaxman examined the relationship between infection control and the attitudes of hospital staff. More specifically, attitudes that tended to attribute the causes of MRSA to forces outside the hospital (such as senior care centers, communities, etc) or to incontrollable conditions within the hospital itself. Read more »
Walking into the hospital is always daunting because it’s confusing and not a place people visit under normal circumstances. So when I went to St. Paul’s last week after my grandpa had open heart surgery I tried to be prepared. I looked up maps so I wouldn’t get lost meeting my sister in the hospital and set off with my “Get Well Soon” balloon in tow. The one thing I wasn’t prepared for was the ensuing reality check.
As we began our trek to the cardiac unit, my sister insisted we stop at every hand washing station. No, she doesn’t have obsessive compulsive disorder; she works in a hospital so she knows the importance of maintaining proper hygiene.
More than 80 years ago, Alexander Fleming, a bacteriologist, theorized that antibacterial would be found in his own nasal mucus. During his experiment, a spore of a variant called Penicillium notatum accidentally contaminated his culture plate of Staphylococcus bacteria. This mold released a substance that inhibited the growth of the bacteria, leading to the breakthrough discovery of penicillin which triggered the beginning of a worldwide medical revolution.
Antibiotics, such as penicillin, have greatly reduced illness and death from infections. Today, 130 million doses of antibiotics are administered every year, and up to half of these have been deemed as unnecessary. One of the main reasons for this occurs when antibiotics are prescribed for viral rather than bacterial infections. As a result, bacterium such as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) have “learned” to develop resistance against common antibiotics and have begun to cause severe infections that are expensive to
The most recent news regarding MRSA is that it is now being found in bedbugs. Scientists in Vancouver are now looking at the relationship between there being so many outbreaks of severe bacterial infections and having a lot of bed bug infestations. Could they be connected? It is causing some concern for the urban areas in the U.S where there has been a rise in bedbugs.
Doctors are examining the relationship between the number of infections and the number of bedbug outbreaks. After scientists examined five of the Canadian bedbugs, they have found that three of them are carrying around MRSA and the other two are carrying around vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) , another commonly encountered multidrug-resistant bacteria.
On this blog, we have spoken many times about the dangers of MRSA. It is now time to explore how MRSA can be detected, and what areas of the body are most often colonized.
MRSA is a versatile bacterium that lives on the skin surface. Up to 30%-40% of people have been shown to carry Staphylococcus aureus, which in its resistant forms, is commonly known as MRSA. In addition, those who are excluded from the previously stated statistic, known as non-carriers, are not necessarily free from all bacteria. Instead, their skin may be better suited for other types of bacteria.
There are big differences in colonization characteristics where MRSA is concerned. A Read more »
A few days ago, we announced an innovative partnership with one of Canada`s largest hospitals, Vancouver General Hospital (VGH). We are very excited to have this partnership featured on Global News.
Pathogenic bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and MRSA can significantly increase the risk of a patient developing serious infections after surgery. MRSAidTM is a non-antibiotic therapy designed to eliminate bacteria in the noses of patients during high infection risk times. As part of our partnership with VGH, MRSAidTM will be used on patients undergoing cardiac, spinal, breast reconstruction, thoracic, neurological, and orthopaedic surgeries. We are very excited to be working with the leaders in infection control at VGH. For more information on MRSAidTM, please visit www.mrsaid.com. Also, please connect with us on Twitter & Facebook, we`ll be happy to respond to any comments and questions.
Research suggests that MRSA infection rates have soared 17-fold since 1995
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is a type of bacteria responsible for many difficult-to-treat infections. In fact, MRSA is a type of Staphylococcus aureas bacteria that has developed a resistance to many types of antibiotics, namely penicillin. MRSA infections are a major problem in hospital settings, as patients suffering from open wounds and weakened immune systems are more likely to get infected. These infections cost the U.S healthcare system 3.2 to 4.2 billion dollars every year[i] and kill more than 18 000 people. Read more »