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resistant infections in hospitals
A lowtech approach that deters antibioticresistant bacteria from infesting hospital patients appears to prevent infection better than screening them for the troublesome microbes and isolating those patients, scientists report May 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
In many hospitals, current practice calls for screening patients as they are admitted to an intensive care unit by testing nasal swabs for methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, a common, dangerous infection. But this technique for catching the bug, treating it and preventing it from spreading within the hospital is far from foolproof.
An alternative method entails bathing patients who are headed for the ICU with antimicrobial soap and water, and dabbing their nasal cavities twice a day with antibiotic ointment. Researchers call this decolonization because it wipes out many microbes that colonize a patients skin or mucuslined nasal passages.
In the study, researchers randomly assigned more than 74,000 ICU patients to get one of three treatments: decolonization; screening for MRSA; or screening and then decolonizing only patients who tested positive for MRSA. The group in which everyone received soap swabbing and nasal ointment developed fewer bloodstream infections than did either of the screeningbased groups, reports physician Susan Huang of the University of California, Irvine, and colleagues.
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Cardboard officer cuts crime at Mass
Health Experts On Air WLFI Schedule WLFI ProgramsAs part of an effort to cut crime at the Alewife MBTA subway and bus station in Cambridge, transit police placed a cardboard cutout of a police officer in the bicycle cage. Hundreds of people use the racks daily.
Deputy Chief Robert Lenehan says the fake cop, along with video cameras and a new lock, has cut bike thefts by 67 percent.
Its also a money saver. Lenehan estimates it would cost $200,000 a year to have an officer watch over the cage fulltime.
The cutout is actually a picture of real MBTA Officer David Silen.
Silen says the split second thieves take to glance at the cutout is enough to discourage them. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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