Press ReleaseImmunization Awareness Month and Seniors
WASHINGTON – Today, the Alliance for Aging Research urged American families to remember that August, which is National Immunization Awareness Month, is a vitally important time to start vaccinating the whole family—especially older adults. This vulnerable population is most at risk of contracting preventable communicable illnesses and accounts for the majority of diagnoses and deaths.
Alliance in the NewsHAIs Growing Problem, Group Says
July 22, 2013 | David Pittman
Related topics: Caregiving Drug Development Drug Safety Geriatric Training Health Longevity Medical Innovation Prevention Quality of Care
WASHINGTON -- Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are costly and deadly and becoming a national crisis, according to the Alliance for Aging Research. Some 1.7 million Americans develop hospital-acquired HAIs each year at a cost ranging from $28.4 billion to $5 billion, the Washington nonprofit noted in a fact sheet released Monday.And roughly 45% of hospital-acquired HAIs are in patients older than 65, according to Thomas File, MD, president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.
"I think there's a huge emphasis on prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial resistance among the infectious disease physician and nurse community," Victoria Fraser, MD, a professor of infectious disease at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, said. "I think the importance of this fact sheet is making it more broadly emphasized across other industries and other populations."
File and Fraser spoke Monday on a call with reporters about the fact sheet, the latest addition to the Alliance's "Silver Book," a searchable database.
"When infections do occur in the older population, the burden of illness is high and often the outcome is less favorable," File added.
With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, there are more opportunities to increase prevention efforts and research activities, they said.
For example, more work is needed to understand HAIs outside the intensive care unit, in long-term care, rehab and dialysis facilities, and ambulatory surgical centers, Fraser said.
"We also need specific research programs focused on cancer patients and the elderly that will deal with how to improve our environmental decontamination, cleaning, and disinfecting to reduce the burden of antimicrobial organisms," Fraser said.
Aging contributes to decreased protections from infections such as changes to the skin and lungs. Immune response is weakened by more chronic conditions such as heart disease which accumulate through time. As a result, older patients are two to five times more likely to develop a HAI.
The most common types of HAIs are bloodstream infections related to central lines, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, and surgical site infections. Clostridium difficile infections are another common HAI -- and 75% of those start outside the hospital, in nursing homes and physician offices.
The rise in antibiotic resistance just adds to the problem -- about 70% of hospital-acquired HAIs are resistant to at least one drug.
The Alliance for Aging Research hopes release of the fact sheet will spur activity in fields beyond infectious disease.
"I think we're trying to ramp up interest and emphasis in geriatrics, in endocrinology, in cardiology, among multiple subspecialties, not just infectious disease about this important problem," Fraser said.
The six-page fact sheet compiles information from previous reports such as the number of hospital-linked infections.
There is also a large section devoted to proven prevention efforts.
Press ReleaseHealthcare-Associated Infections Are a Growing Threat to Seniors
July 22, 2013 | Alliance for Aging Research
Related topics: Drug Development Federal Funding Health Medical Innovation
Science in the Spotlight2MILLION2MANY Campaign: Reducing the Burden of Osteoporosis
Most people who break a bone are treated in the emergency room or at an urgent care facility, and life goes on. But 2 million of those bone breaks each year are not the result of an accident, but a sign of osteoporosis. Despite these numbers, only 2 in 10 older women who break a bone are treated for or even receive a simple test for osteoporosis.
Get Mad ColumnBuying a House and Federal Funding Agencies: What a Homebuyer's Budget Has in Common with a 302(b) Allocation
When purchasing a home, many couples experience a rollercoaster ride of emotions stemming from the numerous decisions they must make together—decisions that affect each other and their future. From choosing a preferred house style, to coming up with a list of “must have” features, the negotiations can seem endless, and a compromise can be daunting.