healthcare-associated infections

International efforts to tackle the hepatitis pandemic have reached new heights, especially in the past year since the 69 th World Health Assembly (WHA) endorsed the Global Health Sector Strategy (GHSS) on viral hepatitis 2016–2021 . It is estimated that some 325 million people worldwide are living with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection alone, and a large portion of these people lack access to life-saving testing and treatment. As a result, millions are at risk of chronic liver disease, cancer and death. To this end, the GHSS calls for the elimination of all types of viral hepatitis (A, B, C, D & E) as a public health threat by 2030 ‒ reducing new infections by 90% and mortality by 65%. Indeed, mortality caused by viral hepatitis is on the rise, with 1.4 million deaths believed to be caused by the disease in 2015. The focus is on HBV and HCV, both blood-borne infections that are responsible for 96% of all hepatitis mortality. Medtech’s contribution On a positive note, a Global Hepatitis Report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in April 2017 says that eliminating viral hepatitis is “technically feasible”. Medical technology will play a critical role. The report points out, for example, that key innovations include rapid serological tests to detect antibodies to HCV as well as point-of-care tests to diagnose HCV infection. Newer and cheaper point-of-care rapid tests, such as those for HBV and affordable ones for HCV, could accelerate the elimination of hepatitis. The WHO’s first-ever viral hepatitis testing guidelines recommend the use of rapid diagnostic tests for hard-to-reach populations and targeted testing in groups most affected by HBV and HCV, such as people who inject drugs, those with HIV and children of mothers with HBV or HCV infection. Simple and...
Surgical Site Infections (SSIs) were high on the agenda at the 4 th International Conference on Prevention & Infection Control (ICPIC) last week in Geneva. And it’s no surprise given the statistics - although no global registry exists to track surgical site infections, health authorities estimate that each year, one in five patients undergoing surgery acquires an infection. It is difficult to calculate the financial burden this places on health systems but NICE has suggested a cost of £700m a year in the UK. Whereas, in the US, the annual cost has been estimated to range from $3.5 billion to$10 billion . What the global cost must be is unknown, but there’s no doubt that it will be high. And this is an epidemic that knows no boundaries – from the most advanced, specialist healthcare centers to the most basic clinics, from the elderly and infirm to the young and healthy; there is unfortunately, a very real possibility of contracting an SSI. What’s also shocking is that approximately 50% of SSIs may be preventable . And with this in mind, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued global guidelines on the prevention of SSIs. This was a hotly debated topic of conversation during a symposium, held at last week’s conference – where several leading wound closure specialists came together to discuss the latest advancements and recommendations to ease the burden of SSIs. One innovation discussed was the use of antibacterial sutures. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests triclosan-coated sutures are an important tool in the fight against SSIs. The WHO has highlighted the use of triclosan-coated sutures across all types of surgery to reduce the risk of SSI, and further support has followed from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the American College of Surgeons/Surgical...

David Leaper

University of Huddersfield and University of Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Today is European Antibiotic Awareness Day. Tackling the era of superbugs should be a team sport. Physicians, companies, foundations and the MedTech industry all want to play their part.
With air travel so fast and current diagnostics technology comparatively so slow, epidemics quickly and easily spread across continents. Take swine flu for instance. It took 4 months just to identify H1N1 in 2009, and 6 months for it to become a global pandemic. 18,000 people lost their lives and 61 million were infected. Currently, the world is watching as the horror of an Ebola outbreak moves across West Africa and beyond.
The WHO has been raising the ‘threat level’ on this issue progressively each year for the last decade, with individual disease reports highlighting the emerging threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This year’s report however highlights this pandemic like never before, demonstrating it’s global nature and its profound impact on health and economics. I’m a cardiologist and the report speaks to me - actually it screams out loud: “We need to get our act together”.
The discussion over superbugs moved center stage earlier this month when British Prime Minister David Cameron launched a global review of the crisis. “If we fail to act, we are looking at an almost unthinkable scenario where antibiotics no longer work and we are cast back into the dark ages of medicine where treatable infections and injuries will kill once again,” Mr Cameron noted. Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a global report on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). "Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill," said Dr Keiji Fukuda, WHO's Assistant Director General for Health Security. Realising the role of in vitro diagnostics in tackling antibiotic resistance, the European Diagnostic Manufacturers Association (EDMA) in conjunction with AdvamedDx and GMTA hosted a side-event at the WHO’s World Health Assembly “ The Fight Against Antimicrobial Resistance: Are Diagnostics Winning? ” The event identified existing gaps in tackling AMR while highlighting the role of diagnostics. So what is the role of diagnostics in antibiotic resistance? Are diagnostics winning? View the slideshare below to learn more: Editor's Note: This post is part 3 of a 4-part series on Superbugs. It gives the Industry View on the Superbugs discussion. Check out the Company View , Foundation View and Physician View in the Superbug series.