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Infection Prevention Week Focuses on Antibiotic Resistance

October 19, 2017

This week HAP, Pennsylvania hospitals, and the health care community worldwide are observing International Infection Prevention Week, October 15–21, 2017. This year’s theme is antibiotic resistance.

A growing list of infections are becoming harder to treat as antibiotics become less effective. The World Health Organization has declared antibiotic resistance one of the biggest global health threats facing the world today. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the U.S.:

  • At least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics
  • At least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections

The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) spearheads this annual observance of the importance of infection prevention. To address this year’s focus, APIC has provided:

  • Toolkits for partners and members for use in educating patients, providers, and others about antibiotic resistance and steps they can take to reduce this threat
  • A new ABCs of Prescribing Antibiotics infographic to help health care professionals prevent the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria
  • An ABCs of Antibiotics poster to help patients and families understand how to combat this problem

HAP, through the work of its Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN), is helping Pennsylvania hospitals and health systems eliminate health care-associated infections, including the prevention of:

  • Clostridium difficile infections and the role antimicrobial stewardship plays in prevention efforts
  • Other infections, such as those related to catheters, central lines, surgical sites, and ventilators

For more information about infection prevention, fighting antibiotic resistance, and the HIIN network, please contact Mary Catanzaro, HAP’s infection prevention project manager.


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