Skip to main content

MRSA and C. Difficile rates fall (but not here)

A new report from the Chief Medical Officer of Health in England reports that "rates of C. difficile have fallen consistently in all English regions in recent years. MRSA has fallen markedly and is now very low in many areas."

As noted in  November, there is no evidence of that in Ontario, as the incidence of both MRSA and C. Difficile is about the same as when public reporting started (i.e. over about the same period as when the rates of MRSA and C. Difficile were falling in England).

While England has made good progress on MRSA and C. Difficile, the new report also indicates an alarming increase in other types of bacteria including new strains of E coli and Klebsiella, which causes pneumonia. There are now many more cases of these than MRSA.
As many as 5,000 patients die each year in the UK of gram negative sepsis – where the bacterium gets into the bloodstream – and in half the cases the bacterium is resistant to drugs, the Guardian reports.

"Antimicrobial resistance poses a catastrophic threat," said Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer. "If we don't act now, any one of us could go into hospital in 20 years for minor surgery and die because of an ordinary infection that can't be treated by antibiotics."  Davies adds "we will find ourselves in a health system not dissimilar to the early 19th century at some point" if adequate steps are not taken.

The US Centre for Disease Control recently issued a call to action after announcing that an increasingly resistant bacteria has found its way into 18% of U.S. long stay acute care hospitals.  The bacteria, called Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), kill one in two patients who get bloodstream infections from them and are resistant to all, or nearly all, antibiotics. A resistant form of Klebsiella pneumoniae (which is one type of CRE) has showed a seven-fold increase in the last decade. Prevention techniques include strict hospital cleaning and hand hygiene practices.

Photo: Klebsiella by AJC1


Popular posts from this blog

Deficit? Public spending ain't the cause. Revenue, however...

With the election over, pressure to cut public programs has become quite intense. In almost all of the corporate owned media someone is barking on about it.

Another option -- increasing revenue from corporations and the wealthy is not mentioned.  However, data clearly indicates that Ontario does not have an overspending problem compared to the other provinces.

Instead, it indicates Ontario has very low revenue. 
Ontario has the lowest public spending of all the provinces on a per capita basis (see the chart from the 2014 Ontario Budget below).  So there is little reason to suspect that we have an over-spending problem.  If anything, this suggests we have an under-spending problem.







The Ontario government has also now reported in the 2014 Budget that Ontario has the lowest revenue per capita of any province.  This is particularly notable as other provinces are quite a bit poorer than Ontario and therefore have a much more limited ability to pay for public spending.  (Also notable in this…

Budget underwhelms on health care. Bait and Switch is such a nasty term

Last year the government promised a 4.64% health care funding increase in 2018/19. Then, earlier this month, they announced they would deficit spend to improve hospitals, mental health, home care, and child care.   Three of the four items cited by the government for improvement were part of health care. 

As it turned out the government did in fact promise in today's Budget to deficit spend $6.7 billion. (Due to a $1 billion fall in expected revenue, the extra spend amounts only to an extra $5.7 billion for 2018/19 programs – but that is still a significant chunk of new found cash for program spending.)  
If health care had gotten even a proportionate share of this new $5.7 billion in program spending, it would have added an additional $2.4 billion to health care  --  in other words about another 4% increase.  

But all health care got -- despite the government’s health care rhetoric -- was an extra $284 million. That may sound like a lot but with a total health care spend of $61 bill…

Ford government promise falls far short of solving hospital hallway medicine problem

Tens of thousands of new Long-Term Care (LTC) beds needed just to offset aging
The new Progressive Conservative government in Ontario has promised 30,000 new long-term care beds over the next ten years, often connecting this to their promise to end hospital hallway medicine.  But how does this promise stack up with growing demand for these facilities?
Most people 85 and older live in collective dwellings (LTC facilities, seniors residences, multiple level of care facilities).  The setting with the largest number of elders 85 and older is LTC facilities, with about 35% of the population 85 to 89  years old and almost 40% of the population 90 to 94 years. Older people are even more likely to be in a LTC facility.
The population 85 and older is the main driver of the need for long-term care beds.
An additional thirty thousand LTC beds by 2028 will only partially offset the rapid growth in the 85+ population.  The ministry of finance projects 42.5% growth in the most relevant population (85 a…