Up to Date

Angie SzumlinskiNews

The NHSN surveillance definition of “up to date” is updated quarterly (if needed) to incorporate FDA and CDC vaccination guidance changes. With ACIP’s February 2024 recommendation that everyone aged 65 years and older receive a second dose of the 2023-2024 updated COVID-19 vaccine, the NHSN surveillance definition of up to date was update on April 1, 2024, which is the …

Norovirus Again

Angie SzumlinskiNews

Funny, it doesn’t seem to matter what month it is or if it is “flu season”, the pesky Norovirus still finds us! This year is no different, the virus is everywhere and sadly, when it finds us, it can be devastating. Our residents are at risk of negative outcomes, not only from the virus itself but from social isolation as …

Hepatitis C

Angie SzumlinskiNews

Hepatitis C is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation and can lead to serious liver damage. Hepatitis C (HCV) spreads through contact with blood that has the virus in it. What makes it even more dangerous is that many people with this disease don’t know they have it because symptoms can take decades to appear. The U.S. Preventive Services …

Wound Care and Gloves

Angie SzumlinskiNews

If you have ever had a state or federal surveyor observe you performing wound care you can relate to the angst most nurses feel. Not only are you responsible for making sure the resident is comfortable, the treatment orders are accurate, your supplies are readily available but now you are also responsible for answering questions from a surveyor. In the …

Bed Safety

Angie SzumlinskiNews

I bet you think I’m talking about bed rails again, but you are wrong! Not that we shouldn’t beat that drum frequently, however, in several recent studies, one at Cambridge University, the other at Emory University School of Medicine, another culprit was identified as increasing risk to our residents. The studies were conducted to determine whether a hospital bed previously …

Wash or Not?

Angie SzumlinskiNews

We all know that infection control guidelines taught us to wash our hands prior to donning non-sterile gloves and when you remove them, right? Well not so fast! In a recent study published in JAMA Network Open, the outcomes related to washing versus not washing were the same. In fact, their conclusion was that a direct-gloving strategy without prior hand …

Ewe!

Angie SzumlinskiNews

Whether you work in post-acute care, urgent care, an ER, a physician office, or home health, we all use stethoscopes, right? Well, a recent study published in PubMed made me shudder a little bit! We do it and we witness it every day, nurse takes a blood pressure and hangs the stethoscope around her/his neck. The doctor checks lung sounds …

Winter Respiratory Season

Angie SzumlinskiNews

It is starting again. The front entrance to a skilled nursing center, posting says there is active COVID in the building. I enter, a sign in the lobby indicates that masking is recommended and there is a box of masks on the counter. There is a hand hygiene station next to the front desk, however no notice that handwashing is …

Clean Air

Angie SzumlinskiNews

Even way back in 2003, the CDC made it very clear that environmental associated infections in health-care facilities were a concern. They published guidelines that were evidence-based and included:  Infection control impact of ventilation system and water system performance  Environmental infection control measures for special areas with high-risk residents  Use of airborne-particle sampling to monitor effectiveness of air filtration and …

The Chicken or the Egg

Angie SzumlinskiNews

Urinary tract infection is the most frequent bacterial infection in residents of post-acute care facilities. Most infections are asymptomatic, with a remarkable prevalence of asymptomatic bacteriuria of 15%-50% among all residents. The major reasons for this high prevalence are chronic comorbid illnesses, neurogenic bladder, and incontinence management.   We are constantly facing challenges with new types of bacteria, MDROs, etc. so …