03 Jun 2019

National Cancer Survivors Day

Every year, the first Sunday in June is devoted to cancer survivors. This day allows us to celebrate and recognize those who have battled cancer and come out victorious. Cancer survivors use this day not only to be celebrated but also to come together as a community and inspire those who have been recently diagnosed with cancer to keep fighting. The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation (NCSDF) is a nonprofit organization that helps hundreds of hospitals, support groups, and cancer-related organizations in hosting events to promote Cancer Survivors Day. Additionally, the NCSDF works to improve the quality of life of cancer survivors by raising awareness of the ongoing challenges faced by those who lived through cancer. There are currently more than 15.5 million cancer survivors in America This is not only a testament to the strength of those who fought cancer but also to the vast improvements to medicine made by doctors and scientists to fight this deadly disease. Unfortunately, a cure for cancer is…

30 Apr 2019

Importance of Handwashing

One of the most underappreciated, yet possibly the most efficient way of killing germs and stopping the spread of bacteria is by simply washing your hands. Approximately 1 in 25 patients in hospitals are affected by healthcare-associated infections, according to the CDC, leading to about 75,000 patient deaths a year. Not only does a lack of hand hygiene increase the risk of patients contracting an infection but the health-care provider also puts themselves at risk. Health Care works are constantly exposed to organisms carrying Staphylococcus Aureus, Clostridium Difficile, MRSA and gram-negative bacteria. In addition, contact with sick patients is not the only way of contracting infections, but also through contact with surfaces in a patient’s’ environments and contaminated patients’ charts. It is recommended that healthcare workers clean their hands before patient contact, before aseptic task, after bodily fluid exposure, after patient contact, and after contact with patient surroundings. These are the five moments of hand hygiene outlined by WHO, the World Health Organization. Luckily, most…

25 Apr 2019

World Malaria Day

First off, Happy World Malaria Day! A day that allows us to recognize all those globally who have worked tirelessly to find a cure for Malaria. In 2016, there were an estimated 216 million cases of Malaria leading to about 445,000 deaths, according to the CDC. Ninety percent of those cases were present in the WHO African Region. Fortunately, from 2010 to 2016 the mortality rate for malaria has been cut by nearly 25%, which is a step in the right direction. The disease continues to prove detrimental to the lives of individuals living in poorer tropical and subtropical areas of the world. In many of these countries, Malaria is the leading cause of death, especially impacting young children, who have weak immune systems, and pregnant women, whose immune systems have been weakened by pregnancy. The mosquito, Anopheles gambiae complex, is a major transmitter of the disease while the parasite species, Plasmodium falciparum, is the species most likely to cause severe Malaria cases and/or death….

08 Oct 2018

If You Want Your Patient To Live, Get Your Flu Shot!

Influenza virus is a prolific serial killer, killing 20,000 to 80,000 people in the US every year, yet is very preventable. We can learn from the history of epidemics to see how devastating it can be. Every 3-5 years we have an epidemic of a novel influenza strain that spreads rapidly and increases the US death rate into the 50,000 to 80,000 range. Every 20 years we have a pandemic which affects a majority of the population. The most cited epidemic, because it was so deadly, was the Influenza Pandemic of 1918, now over 100 years ago. It started in a military base in Kansas, and within 9 months 600,000 Americans died and there were 20 million deaths in the world. It killed more people than World War I. There were casket shortages and mass funerals. The most recent illnesses with H1N1 Influenza starting in 2009 has also had a big impact on the population,and we are continuing to see infections many years later. Had…

03 Oct 2018

Infection Prevention Practitioners – The Silent Heroes

Infection prevention. It’s that Clark Kent working behind the scenes to save lives before Superman saves lives. Working behind the scenes is an infection prevention practitioner.  Usually a nurse, he or she has been trained to prevent infections in healthcare facilities.  Remembering what we were taught in nursing school and medical school (along with common sense) equips everyone with the tools to prevent unnecessary healthcare acquired illnesses and impacts lives in an unseen fashion. With each process that is forgotten during our daily working lives in healthcare, it is like unleashing billions of enemy bacteria to invade our patients. If only we could see with our naked eyes the influence our actions have over these viruses and bacteria when we sanitize our hands, scrub the hub, and vaccinate our patients. And if only we could plainly see the repercussions if we do not believe our influence is real and we do not take these actions. Building an infection prevention program or maintaining and improving existing…