Have you ever thought hospitals a dangerous place? If not, this article is going to inform you of the gloomy side of hospitalization.
Instead of gathering experts saving people all around clock, hospitals are places breeding superbugs that have developed multidrug resistance in the unique hospital environment.
Take methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) for example, MRSA is a common germ in the environment and exists unharmful in a vast majority of people. However, it develops multidrug resistance and becomes more stubborn to survive due to severe antibiotics abuse in the past decades.
MRSA is traditionally regarded as hospital-associated inflection, but nowadays a community-associated MRSA has been already discovered.
A collaborative research team with lead researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigated the multidrug-resistant bacterial infections in the U.S. hospitalized patients from the period 2012 to 2017. The study outcomes were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The study included 980 hospitals overall, with data of 41.6 million hospitalizations. The national estimate of the number of incident cases for all six pathogens (namely MRSA, vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE), extended-spectrum cephalosporin resistance in Enterobacteriaceae suggestive of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) production, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, carbapenem-resistant acinetobacter species, and MDR Pseudomonas aeruginosa) combined in 2017 was 622,390, with their community- and hospital-onset incidence at 517,818 and 104,572 respectively.
Among six pathogens, MRSA and ESBLL infections were the most common ones and together accounted for 84% of all the cases in 2017. Between 2012-2017, MRSA infection showed a decreased incidence, while the incidence of ESBLL infection increased by 53.3% largely due to an increase in community-onset cases.
In the study, the incidence of hospital-onset MRSA and VRE infections were observed to decease nearly twice the incidence of community-onset inflection. This may be due to an increased emphasis on inflection control and intervention in health care in recent years.
The study indicates an urge for actions to suppress multidrug-resistant bacterial infections in the hospital and community, including improving nonsterile health care settings and the community environment.
Efforts in improving public awareness of multidrug-resistance bacterial infections shall be made by health care policymakers.
Also, the public shall be educated not to go to the hospital unless they must, especially for the elderly, children and pregnant women and to develop the habit of handwashing to prevent the transmission of pathogens in daily life.