Infection Control Guards CMMC
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Posters Like This reminder to wash hands are among the ways that Sue Crow, nurse epidemiologist at Confederate Memorial Medical Center, and kifectioo control staff members are working to stamp out infections in the hospital. (Times Photo by Billy Upshaw) Infection Control Guards CMMC By Elaine King Time* Medical Writer Confederate Memorial Medical Center (CMMC) has expanded its work on infec-tion control with the addition of two senior nursing students who help survey the hospital for any infection among patients. Infection control is a relatively new concept for American hospitals, accor-ding to Sue Crow, nurse epidemiologist at CMMC. It is so new that there is no official training offered for hospital personnel to learn about combating infections in hospitals. However, the federal Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Ga., disseminates information about in-fection control, she said. O H of Few in State CMMC is oae of the few hospitals in louisiana that has an infection control staff that works to identify patient infec-tions and combat them when found, she said. All hospitals in the United States must have an infection control commit-tee, however, she said. The committee is required under guidelines from the Joint Committee on Hospital Accreditation, she said. CDC has estimated, she pointed out, that five per cent of infections incurred by hospital patients are acquired while in the hospital. The infection control staff at CMMC works to identify any infections that oc-cur in patients and to find out the cause of the infection so that it can be eliminted, she explained. A major area of the infection control program at CMMC, which has been un-derway at the hospital for two years, is survellience, she said. Since the nursing students, Renee House and Richard Norman, joined the staff, complete survellience of CMMC is possible, Mrs. Crow added. Before the two students joined the staff Mrs. Crow did all survellience work at the hospital, and was able to cover only the critical care areas of the hospital. Survellience, she said, means going to the wards in the hospital and checking for infections in patients. If any is found, the cause of the infection is pinpointed. If the infection is noted among several patients, then inservice training may be required. Inservice training of procedures with equipment is a preven-tive measure, she said. Isolation for patients with an infec-tious disease is also a technique used, she added. Precautions when a patient is isolated include instructions to those entering the room on what to wear and what disinfec-tant the housekeeping staff should use to clean the room. Hospitals that say "We don't have any infection* don't really know if they aren't conducting survellience, Mrs. Crow said. The infection rate has been reduced at CMMC since the program was initiated and now is within the national average of 5 to 6 per cent, she said. For example, the urinary tract infec-tion rate was cut SO per cent, and tracheostomy infections dropped 3i per cent, she said. Because CMMC is talking about its in- 7 fection rate, Mrs. Crow emphasized, does not mean that CMMC has an infec-tion problem that other hospitals do not. It does mean, she pointed out, that CMMC knows when there is an infec-tion and that steps are outlined to com-bat the infection. Chairman of the infection control committee at CMMC is Dr. Burton West, chief of the infections disease section, department of surgery, at Louisiana State University School of Medicine in Shreveport. He has worked with the committee since July, Mrs. Crow said, and has been able to discuss problems with physicians at the hospital when necessary. Handwashing Stressed Infection control also includes keeping up - to - date on recommendations from CDC on procedures for equipment. And it includes a new gas sterilizer that makes possible sterilization of supplies and equipment that could not be sterilized by previous means, she said. Handwashing is being stressed, and is one of the areas that is emphasized in a poster campaign for employes throughout the hospital, Mrs. Crow noted. CMMC artist Janet Germany drew posters that are mounted as reminders to employes to take steps that help com-bat infection, she said. The posters are moved around the building so the em-ployes don't become too accustomed to seeing the same reminders. There is even a poster to remind doc-tors to change masks between operations, she added.
|Title||Infection Control Guards CMMC|
King, Elaine T.
Confederate Memorial Medical Center (Shreveport, La.)
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (Shreveport, La.)
|Notes||Photo of Sue Crow washing her hands|
|Identifier||See reference URL on the navigation bar.|
|Source||Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport Medical Library (http://lib.sh.lsuhsc.edu)|
|Coverage-Spatial||Shreveport (Caddo, La.)|
|Rights||Physical rights are retained by Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.|