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Bacterium spread via hospital equipment

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BALTIMORE, Dec 21, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Johns Hopkins Hospital epidemiologists in Baltimore have traced an outbreak of a resistant bacterium to commonly used hospital wound care equipment.

An antimicrobial resistant bacterium, Acinetobacter baumannii, infected 11 patients at Johns Hopkins during a two-month period in 2003 and was traced back to use of pulsatile lavage equipment for wound care. Three of the patients required admission to the intensive care unit for sepsis and respiratory distress.

In the future, hospital staff using the water-gun like equipment will have to wear masks, gowns and gloves during procedures, to avoid passing infection along to patients. The procedures will also be performed in private treatment rooms that are fully disinfected to reduce the chances of cross contamination between patients and staff.

As an added response, the Food and Drug Administration, along with a leading manufacturer of the device, agreed to change the product's labeling to include use of routine infection control procedures.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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