Posts tagged: Hospital infection

Photodisinfection Kills MRSA Superbug Quickly and Safely

It is fair to say there are no microorganisms that cannot be killed by PDT (photodisinfection). It is a relatively non-specific formation of reactive oxidant species which, by and large, will kill anything. The way to optimize is to target the {‘photosensitizer’} to the species you want to kill – Richard Hamblin, Harvard Medical School.

One important application of photodisinfection is “nasal decolonization”, the elimination of all or almost all of the MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus , one of the superbugs) that thrive inside of the nose. This is an important application because a number of studies have demonstrated that removing the harmful bacteria in the nose (called ‘decolonization’) results in a significantly lower incidence of surgical site infections. Patients who are colonized with bacteria are at risk of self contamination after surgeries when their bodies are weakened. By reducing all or substantially all of the harmful bugs in the nose prior to surgery, fewer patients will die and fewer patients will become infected with resistant and susceptible forms of staphylococcus (‘Staph’).

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Healthcare-Associated Infections: A Silent Epidemic That Took My Father

In July of 2008, my father, Richard G. Croke Jr., went into the hospital for a surgery to remove a piece of his esophagus after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer the previous winter. While the initial chances of survival for this type of cancer were slim, six weeks of chemotherapy and radiation treatments left my dad cancer free. Although the esophagealectomy was an invasive procedure, we were told that the surgery would be the easy part of his journey now that he was cancer free.

The day after his surgery, I went to the hospital to visit him. He was up talking and cracking jokes in his usual manner. Everything seemed fine. Until we received a phone call from the hospital in the middle of the night saying that my dad was extremely ill and might not make it through the night. That was the beginning of the six weeks that changed our lives forever.

Upon entering his ICU room that night, my dad was full of almost 100 pounds of excess fluid, was attached to a number of IVs, and had a ventilator breathing for him. We were told that my dad was in septic shock, which was caused by MRSA entering the bloodstream through the contaminated central line on his foot. He spent six weeks in the hospital, and for a while was getting better until he caught C. diff about a month after the initial bout with sepsis.

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