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February may be the shortest month of the year, but it certainly didn't come up short for infection control and prevention news. This issue includes reports on new duodenoscope protocols, challenging AAAHC standards, new C. diff recommendations, opioid use, hand hygiene and the flu vaccine.

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FDA Updates Protocols to Reduce Duodenoscope-Associated Infection Risk — The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has announced new voluntary, standardized protocols for duodenoscope surveillance sampling and culturing. The protocols were developed by FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American Society for Microbiology, along with duodenoscope manufacturers and other experts.

Infection Prevention and Control Standards Challenge AAAHC-Accredited Organizations — Infection prevention- and control-related standards are among those with high deficiency percentages for organizations accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), according to AAAHC's Quality Roadmap 2017, the accreditor's annual review and analysis of standards compliance.

Fecal Transplantation, Molecular Testing Among New Recommendations in Clostridium Difficile Guidelines — New diagnostic methods and treatments – including fecal transplantation – will help improve the care of patients with Clostridium difficile (C. diff.), according to updated guidelines released by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

FDA Issues Safety Alert on Pentax Medical Duodenoscope —  FDA reported that Pentax issued an urgent medical device correction and removal notification informing customers of its voluntary recall of all ED-3490TK duodenoscopes in order to replace the forceps elevator mechanism, O-ring seal and distal end cap, and to update the operation manual to recommend annual maintenance.

Study: Opioid Use Increases Risk of Serious Infections — Opioid users have a significantly increased risk of infections severe enough to require treatment at the hospital, such as pneumonia and meningitis, as compared to people who don’t use opioids.

New Brochure Helps Educate Patients About Healthcare-Associated Infections — Healthcare providers can download a new brochure designed to help them inform patients about healthcare-associated infections and prevention.

Study: Proper Hand Hygiene Practices Significantly Reduce Infections in Nursing Homes — The results of a new study indicate that infection prevention practices focused on hand hygiene protocols can help save lives in nursing homes and likely other healthcare facilities as well.

Study: Surgical Infections Linked to Drug-Resistant Bugs — Patients having surgery in low income countries are more likely to develop an infection than those in wealthier nations, which may be linked to drug-resistant bacteria, according to new research. In addition, researchers identified a potential link between these infections and antibiotic resistance.

CDC: Flu Vaccine Just 36% Effective This Season — Flu season is still raging in the United States, yet already it ranks among the most difficult in recent years. One reason: This year's vaccine has been just 36% effective against both A and B virus strains, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated.

Study: Infection Site Affects How a Virus Spreads Through the Body — A new study shows that infection sites could affect the immune system's response to a virus and the way the virus spreads through the body.

Researchers Creating App to Track, Analyze Dangerous Chronic Wounds — An interdisciplinary team of researchers has received an award from the National Institutes of Health to develop a smartphone app that will allow patients and their caregivers to track and assess chronic wounds.

Study: Fluoroquinolones Unnecessarily Prescribed for Urinary Tract Infections and Respiratory Conditions — A new study reports about 5% of all fluoroquinolones prescribed for adults in doctor's offices and emergency departments are completely unnecessary, and about 20% of all fluoroquinolone prescriptions in these two settings are not the recommended first-line treatment. Due to the serious side effects they can cause, fluoroquinolones should only be used when absolutely necessary.


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