Growing drug resistance, a high prevalence of S. aureus bacteria and ineffective antibiotics prescribed to one in three patients are among the challenges facing community hospitals in treating patients with serious bloodstream infections, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.
The findings, published March 18, 2014, in the journal PLOS ONE, provide the most comprehensive look at bloodstream infections in community hospitals to date. While the majority of people in need of medical care go to community hospitals, much of the existing research on bloodstream infections focuses on tertiary care centers, or hospitals offering highly specialized care.
“Our study provides a much-needed update on what we’re seeing in community hospitals, and ultimately, we’re finding similar types of infections in these hospitals as in tertiary care centers,” said Deverick Anderson, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine (Infectious Diseases) and the study’s lead author. “It’s a challenge to identify bloodstream infections and treat them quickly and appropriately, but this study shows that there is room for improvement in both kinds of hospital settings.”