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Hospital Infection Control & Prevention – February 1, 2004

February 1, 2004

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  • OSHA outflanks infection control professionals with surprise TB move

    In a move that stunned infection control professionals, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced that it will require one of the most contentious provisions of its failed tuberculosis standard annual respirator fit-testing under its existing general respiratory protection standard.
  • Respiratory rule includes several fit-testing basics

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administrations (OSHA) 1998 respiratory protection standard, which now applies to tuberculosis exposures in health care settings, includes the following general requirements for respirator fit-testing:
  • Medical evaluations also now required by OSHA

    While annual respirator fit-testing has proven to be the most controversial element of the recent federal action on TB, a new requirement for medical evaluation of employees also will affect infection control and employee health programs.
  • MRSA infections kill six children with flu

    At least six children have died this year of invasive infections with community strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) after acquiring influenza, Hospital Infection Control has learned.
  • The CDC heads to Vietnam to assess pandemic threat

    Concerned about the emerging threat of pandemic influenza in Vietnam, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has dispatched a team to Hanoi to investigate an H5N1 avian flu outbreak that had claimed 12 lives as of Jan. 15, 2003.
  • SARS returns: Look for pneumonia, travel history

    On Jan. 13, 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a new suspect case of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in a 35-year-old man living in Guangdong province, China.
  • Resistant HIV strains may undermine PEP regimens

    In a multicenter study of occupational HIV exposures, 38% of source patients had genotype mutations associated with resistance to anti-retroviral drugs. Recent antiretroviral treatment history was highly associated with resistance.
  • Positive news: Culture results a matter of time

    Diagnosing potentially deadly central venous catheterrelated bloodstream infections may be difficult, but the authors found that a lot of it may be a matter of timing.
  • Cat fever: Curiosity almost killed the owner

    Heres one for the strange-but-true case file: A 48-year-old woman under home therapy for continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) presented to the emergency department with a one-day history of fever and chills accompanied by general abdominal discomfort without nausea or vomiting.
  • ICPs have skills to expand job; do they have resources?

    Infection control professionals have the expertise to handle a rapidly expanding job definition, but must have the resources and staff to accomplish the new demands on the profession, a leading ICP recently said in Chicago at a conference held by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
  • JCAHO cites collaboration, adequate resources for 2005

    New infection control standards by the Joint Commission describe a widely supported and collaborative program that represents one of a hospitals top priorities. Highlights of the 2005 standards, which are effective next Jan. 1, include this statement in the overview:
  • Between the unknown and the uninformed

    Amid increasing sensational press exposés and consumer advocates demanding release of hospital infection rates, comes this cold truth from a leading public health official: Health care-associated infections are fraught with so many variables that epidemiologists dont really know how many occur and how many can be prevented.