Three key headlines from ESPAUR 2022

Great to see another fantastic annual ESPAUR report. It really is marvellous to have such a clear picture of HCAI and AMR related trends. As ever, there is some good news and some not so good news. Here three key headlines:

  1. Trends in bloodstream infection, antimicrobial resistance, and antimicrobial prescribing have changed during the pandemic.
  2. Tackling deprivation is tackling HCAI and AMR.
  3. We need to keep an eye on CPE
Continue reading

WAAW 2022: A focus on prevention (IPC and vaccination)

Was delighted to introduce our series of events planned to coincide with World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2022 earlier today. I gave a short talk on why preventing infection via IPC measures and vaccination needs to be a cornerstone of our strategy to turn the time on antimicrobial resistance (slides here).

I also shot a short video to get us thinking about how the language we use will influence the degree to which we connect with the various stakeholders that need to collaborate to address antimicrobial resistance:

Continue reading

An optimal Infection Prevention and Control service is at our fingertips

This is a guest post by the marvelous Jude Robinson (bio below) for some work that she has co-led with Emma Burnett…

I had the pleasure to present our completed study findings of the IPS designing an optimal infection prevention and control service (DOIPS) study at the recent Infection Prevention 2022 conference.  This is a four phased- mixed method study which began late in 2017, and was completed in the autumn of 2021.

Continue reading

Are we talking the same language? The importance of choosing our words carefully when communicating HCAI and AMR

I was really pleased to have the opportunity to speak at IPS this year on how important it is to choose our words carefully and talk the same language to connect with our audience when communicating HCAI and AMR. My main reflection from preparing the talk is that people listen to you when the message is clear and personal, and they lose interest if the message is complicated or not relevant to them. Simple and small changes to the language that we use in the message that we deliver can make a big impact on the way that people respond. You can view my slides here.

Continue reading

Omicron COVID-19 harm and winter IPC strategy

We have just published an evaluation of Omicron COVID-19 harm as a research letter in the Journal of Infection. This multicentre study reported the findings of a retrospective review of 129 patients with healthcare-associated Omicron COVID-19, and found that the harm profile was very different to previous waves: a small proportion of patients required supplemental oxygen, escalation to critical care, had an extended length of stay, or died from COVID-19. This informs our winter IPC strategy: whilst COVID-19 is more than “just a cold”, the balance between direct and indirect harms from COVID-19 has shifted towards preventing indirect harms (like reduced hospital throughput and delayed diagnosis) and more of a focus on other issues (e.g. flu, Gram-negative BSIs etc).

Continue reading

Some highlights and takeaways from Infection Prevention 2022

I spent a lovely few days down in Bournemouth for Infection Prevention 2022, and thought I’d share a few of my highlights and takeaways. (And yes, I did manage to have a swim in the sea!)

Continue reading

COVID-19 ain’t what it used to be

As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept through various epidemic waves each characterised by a different variant, the trend has been towards more transmissibility but less virulence of SARS-CoV-2. The emergence of the Omicron variant continued this trend, and we are now seeing some data to compare the clinical outcomes of COVID-19 with other variants. A huge Lancet study (1.5m patients!) demonstrates clearly that the risk of hospital attendance, hospitalisation, and death is significantly lower with Omicron compared with Delta. This is important because the consequences of SARS-CoV-2 acquisition are an important factor in deciding on our management strategy – as a hospital group and in general.  

Continue reading

Everybody’s talking about the Lancet Commission on COVID-19

The Lancet has published a hard-hitting piece on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. The report includes a blow-by-blow account of the pandemic and the lessons that have emerged, and some important recommendations from a global public health viewpoint. Unsurprisingly, this piece has generated a lot of interest and people are talking about it, which is no bad thing!

Continue reading

Improving environmental hygiene reduces HCAI: but which monitoring method is most effective?

A superb cluster randomised trial has just been published in Clinical Infectious Diseases testing whether improved environmental hygiene via objective monitoring and feedback reduces HCAI. The study also tests whether ATP or UV fluorescent marker monitoring is more effective. The findings reinforce that improving environmental hygiene reduces HCAI, and (I think surprisingly) suggest that ATP is more effective than UV monitoring.

Continue reading

Beware reusable PPE!

A new JHI study highlights the dangers associated with reusable PPE, and related to PPE doffing in general. The study used a clinical simulation suite to monitor the spread of fluorescent material added to the outside of an N95 respirator during routine care for mannequin adult patients (with COVID-19!). Whilst some modes of PPE reuse were better than others, all of the clinicians involved in the study ended up contaminating the clinical environment with fluorescent material originating from the mask.

Continue reading