Decreasing MRSA infection
- 4May 21, '11 by kcmylornkiller superbug solution discovered in norway
nation cutting back significantly on use of antibiotics
by martha mendoza and margie mason
the associated press updated 12/31/2009 9:45:24 am et 2009-12-31t14:45:24
editor's note — once-curable diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria are coming back, as germs rapidly mutate to form aggressive strains that resist drugs. the reason: the misuse of the very drugs that were supposed to save us has built up drug resistance worldwide. last in a five-part series.
oslo, norway —aker university hospital is a dingy place to heal. the floors are streaked and scratched. a light layer of dust coats the blood pressure monitors. a faint stench of urine and bleach wafts from a pile of soiled bedsheets dropped in a corner.
look closer, however, at a microscopic level, and this place is pristine. there is no sign of a dangerous and contagious staph infection that killed tens of thousands of patients in the most sophisticated hospitals of europe, north america and asia this year, soaring virtually unchecked.
the reason: norwegians stopped taking so many drugs.
twenty-five years ago, norwegians were also losing their lives to this bacteria. but norway's public health system fought back with an aggressive program that made it the most infection-free country in the world. a key part of that program was cutting back severely on the use of antibiotics.
now a spate of new studies from around the world prove that norway's model can be replicated with extraordinary success, and public health experts are saying these deaths — 19,000 in the u.s. each year alone, more than from aids — are unnecessary.
"it's a very sad situation that in some places so many are dying from this, because we have shown here in norway that methicillin-resistant staphylococcusaureus (mrsa) can be controlled, and with not too
much effort," said jan hendrik-binder, oslo's mrsa medical adviser. "but you have to take it seriously, you have to give it attention, and you must not give up."'
a glimmer of hope
the world health organization says antibiotic resistance is one of the leading public health threats on the planet. a six-month investigation by the associated press found overuse and misuse of medicines has led to mutations in once curable diseases like tuberculosis and malaria, making them harder and in some cases impossible to treat.
now, in norway's simple solution, there's a glimmer of hope.
dr. john birger haug shuffles down aker's scuffed corridors, patting the pocket of his baggy white scrubs. "my bible," the infectious disease specialist says, pulling out a little red antibiotic guide that details this country's impressive mrsa solution.
it's what's missing from this book — an array of antibiotics — that makes it so remarkable.
"there are times i must show these golden rules to our doctors and tell them they cannot prescribe something, but our patients do not suffer more and our nation, as a result, is mostly infection free," he says.
norway's model is surprisingly straightforward.
norwegian doctors prescribe fewer antibiotics than any other country, so people do not have a chance to develop resistance to them.
patients with mrsa are isolated and medical staff who test positive stay at home.
doctors track each case of mrsa by its individual strain, interviewing patients about where they've been and who they've been with, testing anyone who has been in contact with them.
norwegians are sanguine about their coughs and colds, toughing it out through low-grade infections.
"we don't throw antibiotics at every person with a fever. we tell them to hang on, wait and see, and we give them a tylenol to feel better," says haug.
convenience stores in downtown oslo are stocked with an amazing and colorful array — 42 different brands at one downtown 7-eleven — of soothing, but non-medicated, lozenges, sprays and tablets. all workers are paid on days they, or their children, stay home sick. and drug makers aren't allowed to advertise, reducing patient demands for antibiotics.Last edit by NRSKarenRN on May 23, '11 : Reason: Copyright TOS
- 3May 23, '11 by tewdlesBeautiful solution.
I doubt very seriously that our government will regulate what the big pharma companies are allowed to market to the general public, although that very concept of reducing the marketing could save the public some serious cash in the cost of their needed meds.
If our politicians did decide to limit what and how big pharma could advertise, could I ask that they PULEEZE stop with the erectile dysfunction ads 24/7 ?!?!?
- 2May 23, '11 by Elvish GuideQuote from ♪♫ in my ♥And the ability to 'afford' is not just financial, though that is definitely a large piece. Some places have HR policies that are so punitive for people, no one wants to risk losing their job over a couple microbes.Here's a huge piece of the problem in the US... many of us simply cannot afford *not* to go to work when we're sick.
I like Norway's approach all-around.
- 2May 23, '11 by ♪♫ in my ♥Quote from ElvishI like Norway's approach all-around.[/quote]You're right. I was primarily thinking of financial given how many of us either cannot find a benefitted position or whose sick-leave/PTO policies provide limited accrual and even less banking of hours.And the ability to 'afford' is not just financial, though that is definitely a large piece. Some places have HR policies that are so punitive for people, no one wants to risk losing their job over a couple microbes.
You're right, though - some employers a very punitive in their attitudes toward call-outs at all.
- 1May 24, '11 by mama_dOne of the reasons why I love my kidlets' peds office is that they have an attitude of judiciously limiting antibiotic use. If it's an ear infection that doesn't look too bad, they want to wait and see before they give a script. If they think it's viral, there's no way you'll get an abx script. Each exam room has a poster that explains in layman's terms why abx use needs to be limited.
It frustrates me to no end that my step-kids' mom thinks every illness should get an abx and badgers the doc to the point that she gets one every time. Now we're dealing with them having had strep throat near continuously for going on four months despite multiple rounds of two or three different antibiotics...and she wonders why they just might have a drug resistant strain. I'm not an epidemiologist, but it seems that throwing abx at the kids over and over again for every little thing for over ten years might just have caused this to come about.
Hubby and I clash sometimes when our two get sick...he wants to treat every fever with Motrin, I refuse to unless the kids are significantly affected by it. Oldest can hit 104 with no problem before he starts feeling like crap, youngest it's about 102.5. I prefer to let their immune systems work for a couple of days before calling the doc unless they feel just awful or I think it's strep.
I can understand those who are less educated on the subject wanting abx for everything somewhat though I guess. When DS was in the hospital with sepsis at seven weeks old, one part of me was going "Do you really have to use such strong antibiotics right off the bat?" (Rocephin and I think Ampicillin, plus Acyclovir to cover other bases, all IVPB.) Another part of me was thinking "Why not anything stronger, he's really freaking sick!" Even knowing what I do I was torn about it.
- 0May 24, '11 by bennyRN"Hubby and I clash sometimes when our two get sick...he wants to treat every fever with Motrin, I refuse to unless the kids are significantly affected by it. Oldest can hit 104 with no problem before he starts feeling like crap, youngest it's about 102.5. I prefer to let their immune systems work for a couple of days before calling the doc unless they feel just awful or I think it's strep."
Can't high fevers cause seizures though, especially in children? I thought that's one of the reasons why we treat fevers >101.4 with motrin/tylenol.