Doctors take precautions against deadly CRE bacteria in hospital - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Doctors take precautions against deadly CRE bacteria in hospitals

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There's a dangerous bacteria spreading across the U.S. striking hospitals in 42 states.

And the really scary part, it's resistant to anti-biotics...

The CDC reports cases of the so-called 'superbug' have been found in South Dakota,  Minnesota and Iowa hospitals.

KSFY News spoke with doctors in our area to find out who's most at risk and to find out what hospitals doing to prevent this from spreading further?

Infectious disease doctors in our area are concerned.

In fact Sanford Health held a meeting this afternoon to inform staff members here in Sioux Falls and it's outlying medical centers in Aberdeen and Webster about the dangers of this potentially deadly virus.

A CRE infection may be a death sentence, it has a 70 percent mortality rate.

Sanford Health infectious disease consultant Dr. Wendell Hoffman said "the problem is we don't have any new antibiotics coming down the pipeline and that's our biggest concern is that we don't have new, novel antibiotics that are effective against this bacteria."

In the meantime, doctors are taking precautions to keep you safe.

Infectious disease specialist Dr. Jeremy Storm said "we always do infection control measures like contact precautions like gowns and gloves, hand-washing which is standard, and sometimes even one-on-one nursing so we're not having a lot of chances for spreading to other parts of the hospital or facility."

CRE is a bacterial infection which can cause pneumonia, as well as blood stream or urinary tract infections. It can strike people who are receiving hospital care.

"The intense treatment that they get, including the placement of IV catheters, urinary catheters, and they're also at times placed on ventilators where they have multiple potential sore conduits for these bacteria to cause deeper and more serious infections," Dr. Hoffman said.

Doctors screen high-risk patients for CRE to prevent it from spreading but will do what they can to treat patients who are already infected.

"If it's an infection those can be very serious and sometimes even life-threatening we treat those very aggressively usually with a multiple antibiotic combinations for prolonged periods," Dr. Storm said.

Doctor Hoffman tells me our main barrier of protection is our skin.

People at risk to the bacteria include the elderly who may have thin skin or anyone whose skin is broken by sores or an IV.

So just another reminder, if you're visiting a hospital, make sure you and the people who touch you wash their hands.

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