Untreatable and hard-to-treat infections from carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) germs are on the rise among patients in medical facilities. CRE germs have become resistant to all or nearly all the antibiotics we have today.
CRE infections come from bacteria that are normally found in a healthy person’s digestive tract. When a person is receiving serious medical care (for example, involving urinary catheters, intravenous catheters, or surgery) these bacteria can end up where they don’t belong—in the bladder or blood. Because these bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics, CRE bloodstream infections are very difficult to treat and can kill up to half of patients who get them.
What you can do:
Our best infection prevention methods are early detection of the bacteria and then enforcing strict infection control practices, such as:
- Following hand hygiene practices as set forth by your healthcare facility
- Grouping patients together with CRE
- Dedicating separate rooms, equipment, and staff for patients with CRE
- Communicating when patients with CRE are transferred in or out of your facility
- Using antibiotics appropriately
Learn more and share:
- CRE: The ‘nightmare bacteria’—APIC consumer alert
- Protect Patients from Antibiotic Resistance—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March 2016 Vital Signs report
- CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance Patient Safety Atlas—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Vital Signs report on CRE—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- CBS News segment about CRE