Time to really recognise the importance of Prevention

Pretty worrying editorial in Clinical Infectious Diseases this month, discussing the issue of Polymixin resistance in Acinetobacter. So basically no treatment options and an attributable mortality of 30% from an organism that isn’t normally that virulent. Although these organisms do not seem to be causing too many problems in the UK, it is a different story in Asia. New therapeutics are some way off and there have been a few false dawns. So how about a real concerted effort to prevent infections and transmission in the first place. A good honest look at infection rates, realistic audit and feedback of hand hygiene compliance (instead of the non-credible >100% usually trumpeted), the same for assessing the effectiveness of cleaning, instead of the rose tinted spectacles that are the usual method. Infection prevention and control activity isn’t a PR activity; until new options for treatment come to fruition it may be all that we have.

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