Hot Weather Health

The Oregon Health Authority has announced a #SummerBummer collection of strategies for Preventing and Responding to common hot-weather risks, including drowning, poor air quality, mosquito-borne and tick-borne illnesses, algal blooms, fecal beach bacteria, food poisoning, and extreme heat.  Find their recommendations at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/ERD/Pages/StaySafeHealthyWithSafetyTipsFromOHAAsSummerKicksOffJune21.aspx.

CDC has a comparable program that sends out a weekly email on Five Minutes or Less for Health Weekly Tip, which also covers skin cancer, hydration, and communicable diseases.  Review their Tips or sign up at https://www.cdc.gov/family/minutes/tips/summersavvy/index.htm.

Homeland Security’s “Ready.gov” website has a thorough discussion of how to stay cool and safe in extreme heat, at https://www.ready.gov/heat, and one to help you Prepare Your Home for Wildfire Season at https://www.ready.gov/wildfires.

And of course people with ESRD have special issues with food and water in the summer:

Diabetic Foot Care

A recent study published in the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) journal Diabetes Care (http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2019/05/28/dc19-0296) using 2000-2015 USRDS data has shown that the rates of nontraumatic lower-extremity amputation (NLEA) among adults with ESRD and diabetes fell 44% between 2000 and 2013 from 7.5 to 4.2 NLEA per 100 person-years, while NLEA among ESRD patients without diabetes declined 31% over the same period, from 1.6 to 1.1 per 100 person-years.  Both reductions were highly statistically significant.  However, both rates flat-lined after 2013.

We want to stress the importance of improving patient and staff education on diabetes self-management and preventive foot care, in order to resume the reductions in these rates.  CDC’s recommendations on diabetic foot care can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/features/diabetesfoothealth/index.html.  The ADA’s input is at http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/foot-complications/foot-care.html in English and http://www.diabetes.org/es/vivir-con-diabetes/complicaciones/el-cuidado-de-los-pies.html in Spanish.

2/28+ Using NHSN for Prevention Webinar

The California Department of Public Health / Center for Health Care Quality / HAI Program / California Campaign to Prevent BSIs in Hemodialysis Patients will present a February 28, 2019 webinar on Practical Guidance for Using NHSN Dialysis Infection Data for Prevention. The webinar will be repeated on March 6, 2019.  For details see https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CHCQ/HAI/CDPH%20Document%20Library/2019DialysisWebinarPracticalNHSNGuidance_Approved02.19.19.pdf.  Find extensive additional BSI-prevention resources for both facility staff and patients at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CHCQ/HAI/Pages/CACampaignToPreventBSIinHemodialysisPatients.aspx.

Injection Safety, Needle Use, and HAI

The Oregon Patient Safety Commission website, while directed specifically at Oregon, includes many resources that any healthcare provider will find useful, such as:

E. coli in Romaine Lettuce

CDC has urged everyone to avoid all Romaine Lettuce until further notice, as it is the leading suspect in a multi-state outbreak of Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157:H7) infections, and a specific source has not been identified.  CDC recommends that drawers and shelves that held Romaine be sanitized.  They also recommend that antibiotics NOT be used for this type of infection, as the combination can result in kidney failure, and no benefits have been demonstrated.  For detailed instructions, see https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2018/o157h7-11-18/index.html.

11/12-18 Antibiotic Awareness Week

The CDC has announced that US Antibiotic Awareness Week is November 12–18, 2018.  Antibiotics are life-saving drugs and critical tools for treating infections like those that can lead to sepsis.  However, when antibiotics aren’t needed, they won’t help you, and the side effects could still cause harm.  Additionally, any time antibiotics are used in people or animals, they can lead to antibiotic resistance.  Everyone has a role to play to improve antibiotic prescribing and use.  CDC recommends four ways to participate in Antibiotic Awareness Week:

  • Use and share Be Antibiotics Aware educational materials, including graphics for print and social media from CDC’s national educational effort to keep patients safe, decrease adverse drug events, and help fight antibiotic resistance.  See https://www.cdc.gov/features/antibioticuse/index.html.
  • Make a commitment to The AMR Challenge.  Join leaders worldwide to combat antibiotic resistance by improving antibiotic use, including ensuring access to these drugs globally.  See https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/intl-activities/amr-challenge.html.
  • Join the Global Twitter Storm on Thurs., November 15 from 9-10 am ET using the hashtag #AntibioticResistance.  Use social media to spark conversation throughout the week using #USAAW18 and #BeAntibioticsAware.
  • Follow CDC’s Safe Healthcare Blog for daily stories on Antibiotic Awareness; see https://blogs.cdc.gov/safehealthcare/.

This annual one-week observance helps raise awareness of the importance of appropriate antibiotic use to combat the threat of antibiotic resistance.  CDC is a global leader in efforts to improve antibiotic prescribing and use practices.  Improving the way we prescribe and take antibiotics helps keep us healthy now, helps fight antibiotic resistance, and ensures that these life-saving drugs will be available for future generations.