Health Care Facilities are slow to report incidents of CRE Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae. CRE is identified as a Superbug because it is bacteria resistant to standard antibiotic treatments for infectious disease. It is extremely dangerous for persons already dealing with significant health conditions being treated in hospitals and long term care facilities. Up to 1 in 2 persons diagnosed with CRE do not survive because they do not respond to treatment.
The Centers for Disease Control have established protocols for reporting CRE and presented a tool kit as useful utility in the prevention of its spread. ABC15 News in Phoenix reports on its website information from the CDC disclaiming mandate that CRE is a nationally reportable or notifiable disease. States or municipalities are not required to report the number of CRE cases preventing numbers of cases to accurately be known.
Arizona’s Prevention and Control Advisory Committee advised Governor Jan Brewer not to report Health Care Associated Infections (HCAI’s) even though Phoenix Metro Area Hospitals have previously reported them and their responses to them. Federal data reports 100,000 deaths nationally as a result of HCAI’s. The Northeast Region of the U.S. has been the area hardest hit of the 42 states that have reported at least one case of CRE.
If CRE is to be managed and maintained, standards of protocol must be in place for comprehensive and effective implementation. Recommendations for prevention of the spread of CRE include following cases from laboratory diagnosis to health care facility stays and transfers, and appropriate administration of antibiotics most likely to yield the best case outcome of survival.
The CDC Tool Kit Strategy recommends the following actions to Healthcare facilities to reduce rates of CRE. Demand an alert when a patient’s laboratory work has discovered CRE. If a CRE patient is to be transferred out, the receiving facility is to receive the alert.
Isolate patients in dedicated space with a dedicated care team. This works to minimize risks of spreading the infectious disease through unprotected touch. Hand washing is a must even if personnel must be appointed to ensure medical personnel attending CRE patients are doing so. Equipment physically touching CRE patients must be immediately removes as soon as it is no longer necessary.
CRE’s ability to spread rapidly requires military level diligence in medical response. The numbers of cases reported revealed more than 100% increase in the past decade. If CRE is not contained, the real possibility exists that otherwise healthy people could become infected.
For more information on CRE and how to protect your community, your family, and yourself, visit the CDC’s Online Website.