The infinite trio from South Africa

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the 8th FIDSSA Congress in Johannesburg (Federation of Infectious Diseases Societies of Southern Africa). I was invited to talk on infection control in the Netherlands, SDD and empiric antibiotic strategies in ICU. I never felt more distance between my habitat and that of my hosts. It surpassed the 3732 miles in the air. I learned a lot; from how it is to go into military conflict areas to identify Ebola cases, fighting a cholera outbreak after a tropical cyclone in Mozambique to the infinite trio, which stands for carbapenem resistant Klebsiella, Pseudomonas and Acinetobacter. Continue reading

Intra-operative vancomycin: to randomize or not

Today we discussed a recent paper published by our orthopedic surgeons on using powdered vancomycin in the wounds of spinal surgery to prevent surgical site infections (SSI). Two years ago I already had a post on the topic. The powder is spread deep in the wounds, on the bone and metal, before fascia and skin are closed. Yet, none of the 3 guidelines addressing prevention of surgical site infections that appeared recently recommends this intervention; WHO (2016) didn’t even include the intervention, CDC (2017) said “don’t do it”, and NICE (2019) acknowledged that the procedure is widely used without strong supporting evidence and recommended: stop doing it and do a trial. Continue reading

A pore way of dying (for MDR-GNB)

The lack of new antibiotics for Gram-negative bacteria is one of the cornerstones of the global crisis of antibiotic resistance. The quest is finding a molecule with antibacterial activity that can pass the double-layered cell wall and that manages to remain in the cell long enough to kill. New lab-based studies suggest that such antibiotics may already exist, and that the solution to activate them is widely available, and for free. As these findings were published in not-so-well-known-and-hardly-read journals for clinicians, such as EMBO journal and Scientific Reports, here follows the summary for dummies (written by a dummy). Continue reading

An empty gut before surgery?

We Dutch, we love gut decontamination. Not only in critically ill patients, but also in those undergoing elective colorectal  surgery. A decontaminated gut is a safe gut, and that feeling was based on data from Dutch studies. A new study from Finland, published in Lancet, now questions whether our gut feeling was correct. Continue reading

Summer break – don’t go near the water?

I trust you are enjoying a well-deserved summer break or packing your bags to take off. In case you missed this paper in the daily list of new ones on biorxiv, it tells you where to swim safely and where not. Elena Buelow, from Germany, a former PhD student in our lab in Utrecht and now post-doc in Limoges, France, reported. So, if you are floating quietly in a pittoresque small river and you see a hospital building on the hill near the next bend in the river, are you still in safe waters? Continue reading

How a bundle kills Cochrane – or not?

Nice paper this week in JAMA Internal Medicine. How to treat patients hospitalized with Community-Acquired Pneumonia (CAP)? Antibiotics, sure, but can you do more to improve outcome and shorten length of stay (LOS)? You could choose any of 4 evidence-based interventions, that, according to (Cochrane) meta-analyses, improve patient outcome. Or decide to include all 4 in a bundle, as the Australian investigators did. And then the bundle fails to provide benefit and increases harm. Valentijn Schweitzer and I tried to explain. Continue reading

How a bundle kills Cochrane – or not?

Nice paper this week in JAMA Internal Medicine. How to treat patients hospitalized with Community-Acquired Pneumonia (CAP)? Antibiotics, sure, but can you do more to improve outcome and shorten length of stay? You could choose any of 4 evidence-based interventions, that, according to (Cochrane) meta-analyses, improve patient outcome. Or decide to include all 4 in a bundle, as the Australian investigators did. And then the bundle fails to provide benefit and increases harm. Valentijn Schweitzer and I tried to explain. Continue reading