Thursday, January 18, 2018

Congratulations to Dr. Michelle Doll-VCU Internal Medicine Grand Rounds on the Epidemiology of C. difficile

Congratulations to Dr. Michelle Doll, Assistant Professor and Associate Epidemiologist at VCU Medical Center, on her masterful presentation at VCU Internal Medicine Grand Rounds.

The topic was the changing epidemiology of C. difficile infections with a focus on diverse reservoirs, current knowledge gaps and limits in C. difficile infection prevention, and strategies to maximize 'test stewardship' with respect to C. difficile diagnosis.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Twitter is a Legitimate Means of Engaging Medical Professionals!

Kudos to Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology (ICHE) for publishing this article on What Makes a Tweet Fly

In an analysis of 'tweet' activity across for international infection control and Infectious diseases conferences, ID week 2016 had some of the lowest proportional use of Twitter. This is discouraging as Twitter, if done properly, particularly with an embedded link to a useful journal article or position paper, can both highlight and quickly disseminate relevant information. 

It is time for ID Week to formally encourage Twitter as one of the primary communication platforms during the meeting.

So, again, kudos to ICHE for raising awareness of the power of social media for professional societies. If social media serves to heighten infection prevention awareness and improve safety, this cannot be a bad thing. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Duration of Contact Precautions Expert Guidance- Published Today!

For those interested in contact precautions, specifically the duration of contact precautions for select pathogens, check out this SHEA expert guidance paper, published today.

Kudos to David Banach, Valerie Deloney and the rest of the talented SHEA Guidelines Committee.

This paper should provide guidance for a timely and relevant question: how long must this patient be isolated?

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Bare Below the Elbows: Revisited!

This recent article published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology is another bit of evidence in favor of bare below the elbows as an infection prevention adjunct for inpatient care. This is now normative behavior at VCU Health.

Kudos to Dr. Amrita John and colleagues for their randomized, crossover trial involving simulated patient care interactions. With short sleeves, the frequency of transfer of a viral DNA surrogate marker to clean sites was significantly decreased. 

The goal is to minimize patient/ patient invasive device contact with an infrequently laundered fomite- white coat sleeve cuff (previously reported here).

White coat fomite! Photo Credit: Mike Edmond MD, MPH, MPA
BBE for inpatient care is simple, inexpensive, based on biological plausibility and is unlikely to cause harm (except to the ego of some physicians.)

Hang up the white coat.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Man Cold: Myth or Medically Plausible?

Is there such a thing as a man cold? 

In the medical literature I dug up this article, published in 2007, that explores gender differences in the incidence of respiratory tract infections. Data were extracted from 84 relevant studies.

Men seem to develop more respiratory tract infections than females, except sinusitis, ear infections and possibly tonsillitis. The course of these infections may be more severe in men than women.

Why? Not sure, but it may have to do with anatomic differences, the impact of sex hormones on regulation of the immune system, lifestyle and behavioral issues.

Regardless, there is no need for us to overreact (as some are prone to do). A cold is generally still a cold.

Toughen up.