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This award-winning blog supplements the articles in Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.

Don’t let the Big C be followed by the Big I

Few patients are more vulnerable to infections than those under immunosuppressive treatment for cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has designed a new web-based infection prevention program to protect the estimated 830,000 cancer patients who receive chemotherapy in outpatient oncology clinics.

Studies show that 10% of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment end up hospitalized due to infection, and every two hours a patient dies from this complication. Because of the nature of their illness, great attention to infection prevention is warranted in the care of cancer patients, the CDC emphasizes.

Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients is a comprehensive program focused on providing information, action steps, and tools to help reduce the risk of developing potentially life-threatening infections during chemotherapy treatment. Through the program, CDC developed the following tools—

CDC also produced a fact sheet intended for patients and caregivers, and posters that can be placed in like patient waiting areas, staff lounges and emergency rooms.

Ongoing outbreaks and patient notifications in outpatient settings demonstrate the need for greater understanding and implementation of basic infection prevention guidance.