Deadly SuperBug Cannot Be Stopped With Antibiotics: CDC Warns Hospitals, Doctors to Protect Patients from Killer Bacteria CRE


Deadly SuperBug Cannot Be Stopped With Antibiotics: CDC Warns Hospitals, Doctors to Protect Patients from Killer Bacteria CRE

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a big, big warning to doctors, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes — all health care providers — about something that is very scary:  a new strain of germs that don’t respond to antibiotics.  People are dying after being exposed to this drug-resistant bacteria and there’s no drug that can stop this. Which means that there’s a big duty on these health care providers to protect us all from this dangerous bacteria, officially known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE.

Super-bug CRE is spreading through health care facilities like wildfire.  It’s already been found in 42 states, especially in the northeastern part of the country.  Investigation into the Chicago area Intensive Care Units (ICUs) last year already found that 3% of these ICU patients had been infected with CRE and that there was a shockingly high 30% infected in long-term care facilities (e.g. nursing homes).

It is the duty of health care providers to provide protection from disease, especially to those patients in their care.  Hospitals, nursing homes, doctors’ clinics, and more have been officially warned by the CDC of the CRE SuperBug and measures should already be in place to protect you and your loved ones from this potentially fatal bacterial infection.

CRE kills. Be aware of the need to protect against exposure to it.

Read here the warning that has been sent out to doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, and more from the federal agency.  From the CDC to Health Care Professionals on March 5, 2013:

CDC: Action needed now to halt spread of deadly bacteria

Data show more inpatients suffering infections from bacteria resistant to all or nearly all antibiotics A family of bacteria has become increasingly resistant to last-resort ntibiotics during the past decade, and more hospitalized patients are getting lethal infections that, in some cases, are impossible to cure. The findings, published today in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vital Signs (http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/HAI/CRE) report, are a call to action for the entire health care community to work urgently – individually, regionally and nationally – to protect patients. During just the first half of 2012, almost 200 hospitals and long-term acute care facilities treated at least one patient infected with these bacteria. The bacteria, Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE (http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/organisms/cre/index.html) ), kill up to half of patients who get bloodstream infections from them. In addition to spreading among patients, often on the hands of health care personnel, CRE bacteria can transfer their resistance to other bacteria within their family. This type of spread can create additional life-threatening infections for patients in hospitals and potentially for otherwise healthy people. Currently, almost all CRE infections occur in people receiving significant medical care in hospitals, long-term acute care facilities, or nursing homes.

“CRE are nightmare bacteria. Our strongest antibiotics don’t work and patients are left with potentially untreatable infections,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Doctors, hospital leaders, and public health, must work together now to implement CDC’s “detect and protect” strategy and stop these infections from spreading.”

Enterobacteriaceae are a family of more than 70 bacteria including Klebsiella pneumoniae and E. coli that normally live in the digestive system. Over time, some of these bacteria have become resistant to a group of antibiotics known as carbapenems, often referred to as last-resort antibiotics.  During the last decade, CDC has tracked one type of CRE from a single health care facility to health care facilities in at least 42 states.  In some medical facilities, these bacteria already pose a routine challenge to health care professionals.

The Vital Signs report describes that although CRE bacteria are not yet common nationally, the percentage of Enterobacteriaceae that are CRE increased by fourfold in the past decade.  One type of CRE, a resistant form of Klebsiella pneumoniae, has shown a sevenfold increase in the last decade.  In the U.S., northeastern states report the most cases of CRE.

According to the report, during the first half of 2012, four percent of hospitals treated a patient with a CRE infection.  About 18 percent of long-term acute care facilities treated a patient with a CRE infection during that time.

In 2012, CDC released a concise, practical CRE prevention toolkit with in-depth recommendations for hospitals, long-term acute care facilities, nursing homes and health departments. Key recommendations include:

  • enforcing use of infection control precautions (standard and contact precautions)
  • grouping patients with CRE together
  • dedicating staff, rooms and equipment to the care of patients with CRE, whenever possible
  • having facilities alert each other when patients with CRE transfer back and forth
  • asking patients whether they have recently received care somewhere else (including another country)
  • using antibiotics wisely

In addition, CDC recommends screening patients in certain scenarios to determine if they are carrying CRE.  Because of the way CRE can be carried by patients from one health care setting to another, facilities are encouraged to work together regionally to implement CRE prevention programs.

These core prevention measures are critical and can significantly reduce the problem today and for the future.  In addition, continued investment into research and technology, such as a testing approach called Advanced Molecular Detection (AMD), is critical to further prevent and more quickly identify CRE.

In some parts of the world, CRE appear to be more common, and evidence shows they can be controlled.  Israel recently employed a coordinated effort in its 27 hospitals and dropped CRE rates by more than 70 percent. Several facilities and states in the U.S. have also seen similar reductions.

“We have seen in outbreak after outbreak that when facilities and regions follow CDC’s prevention guidelines, CRE can be controlled and even stopped,” said Michael Bell, M.D., acting director of CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion. “As trusted health care providers, it is our responsibility to prevent further spread of these deadly bacteria.”

Vital Signs is a CDC report that appears on the first Tuesday of the month as part of the CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, or MMWR. The report provides the latest data and information on key health indicators. These are cancer prevention, obesity, tobacco use, motor vehicle passenger safety, prescription drug overdose, HIV/AIDS, alcohol use, health care–associated infections, cardiovascular health, teen pregnancy, food safety and viral hepatitis.

CDC works 24/7 saving lives, protecting people from health threats, and saving money to have a more secure nation.  Whether these threats are chronic or acute, manmade or natural, human error or deliberate attack, global or domestic, CDC is the U.S. health protection agency.

Contact Us

To learn more about the Kenneth J. Allen Law Group law firm, its jury verdicts and case results please fill out this Contact Form and information will be sent to you. Or call any of our offices in Valparaiso, Merrillville or Chicago.

Case Evaluation

Please call us, or fill in the Case Evaluation Form below, to learn more and arrange for a confidential FREE consultation.

Who was at fault?

Are you receiving medical treatment? YesNo

Have you had or do you need surgery? YesNo

Indiana|illinois

Allen Law Building

1109 Glendale Boulevard
Valparaiso, Indiana - 46383
219.465.6292

Justice Center

3700 E. Lincoln Hwy. (US 30)
Merrillville, Indiana - 46410
219.736.6292

Capital Center

201 N. Illinois Street South Tower
Indianapolis, Indiana - 46204
317.842.6926

Crain Communication Building

150 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, Illinois - 60601
312.236.6292

Lincolnshire Business Center

1000 Essington Road 
Joliet, Illinois - 60431
815.725.6292

Executive Office Building

15255 S 94th Ave #500
Orland Park, Illinois - 60462
708.460.6292