Dentist Infection Control

Florida Infection Control Consulting Services Blog

Nov 17, 2016

CDC Identifies Antimicrobial Stewardship Program for University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospitals as Model

The week of November 14-20, 2016, has been designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as "Get Smart About Antibiotics Week." This annual one-week observance is intended to raise awareness of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use.

As the CDC reports, at least 30% of antibiotics prescribed in hospital clinic, doctor's offices and emergency departments are unnecessary. This equates to 47 million unnecessary prescriptions written in those settings. Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of the infections.

Such statistics emphasize the need for organizations to develop and maintain antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programs. As of 2015, about 50% of all hospitals had instituted an AMS program. The White House issued a "National Action Plan to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria" in 2015, which included a goal of 100% of hospitals establishing an AMS program by 2020.

CDC provides links to a few websites of hospital AMS programs throughout the country to serve as examples intended to assist organizations with developing their own AMS programs. Included is a link to the AMS program website for the University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospitals.

The program is named "GotaBug." The following are steps the program advises hospital staff members to take to help reduce antimicrobial resistance:
  • Take an antibiotic "Time Out" as part of your daily rounds
  • Reassess antimicrobial therapy based on cultures and susceptibilities
  • Pick the correct drug, dose and duration
  • De-escalate broad spectrum antimicrobials whenever possible
  • Stop antimicrobials when no longer needed
  • Get your annual flu shots
  • Wash your hands

Florida-based infection control consultant Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, president and founder of Infection Control Consulting Services (ICCS), and the ICCS team of consultants assist healthcare organizations with the development of AMS programs as part of their ongoing effort to preventing infections. To learn about how ICCS can help your organization, contact ICCS.

Oct 31, 2016

The Role of Personal Protective Equipment in Infection Prevention History

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, president of Infection Control Consulting Services (ICCS), has contributed a new column to Infection Control Today on personal protective equipment (PPE).

Topics discussed in the column include:
  • Early uses of PPE
  • Guidelines concerning their use
  • PPE in the 21st century
  • Evolution of PPE across the continuum of care
  • Special circumstances for PPE use, specifically Ebola
  • Recent controversies in the surgery setting concerning proper surgical attire

To access the article, click here.

ICCS is a Florida-based provider of infection control consulting for surgery centers, dental offices and many other types of healthcare organizations. Services provided by the ICCS team, led by Phenelle, including developing, implementing and maintaining evidence-based infection prevention and control programs as well as providing educational programs to meet client needs.

Oct 26, 2016

Zika Virus Detected in Blood Donated in Florida

Blood donated and screened in Florida has tested positive for the Zika virus, according to multiple news reports.

This is the only positive Florida test result for donated blood to date. The donation never entered the blood supply.

OneBlood, a blood center serving most of Florida and parts of other states, has tested a sample of every Florida donor's blood for several months.

The American Red Cross announced earlier in the year that it was also conducting blood donor screening.

In its October 24 Zika update, the Florida Department of Health provided the following breakdown of non-travel and travel-related Zika infections to-date in the state:
  • Travel-related infections of Zika — 752
  • Non-travel-related infections of Zika — 169
  • Infections involving pregnant women — 113
  • Out-of-state cases (not Florida residents) — 19
  • Undetermined — 5
  • Total — 1,058
In August, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration recommended universal testing of donated whole blood and blood components for Zika virus in the United States and its territories.

Oct 19, 2016

Dental Infection Control Special Report: Pulpotomy, Mycobacteria in Children

Infection Control Consulting Services (ICCS), a Florida-based provider of expert infection prevention services to dental clinics, surgery centers and other healthcare organizations, has published a new special report concerning dental infection control and prevention practices.

The report examines recent outbreaks of Mycobacterium abscessus odontogenic infections in children following pulpotomy procedures (child root canal).

As the report notes, "... the water that was used during the pulpotomy treatment allowed bacteria growing in the water to be trapped in the tooth when it was capped after the procedure was completed. ... Dental waterlines are a challenge as bacteria grow biofilm which adheres to the plastic tubes and is very difficult to eradicate."

Read the ICCS special report on dental infection prevention.

Aug 22, 2016

Zika Virus Spreads to Miami Beach, Prompting Warnings

As the fear of Zika virus infections continues to plague Florida, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on August 19 that "pregnant women should not travel to an area of Miami Beach where local Zika virus transmission has been confirmed."

This is the second area in Miami that has been identified as being "at risk" for active transmission of the virus. The Florida Department of Health announced that five locally transmitted cases have been confirmed as connected to the Miami Beach area.

The CDC further advised that the sexual partners of pregnant women refrain from visiting the area. Pregnant women are at the highest risk due to identification of birth defects in babies born to mothers who have contracted the illness. As Dr. Tom Frieden, CDC director, states, "The risk is low, but the outcome is so horrific, you really want to try to avoid it."

Florida Governor Rick Scott noted, "There are 36 locally transmitted cases of the virus and 20.6 million people living in the state," requesting that the public put this issue in perspective. 

The CDC is aiding Florida with test and prevention kits to assist with transmission identification and prevention.

Aug 2, 2016

CDC Issues Travel Warning for Miami's Wynwood Neighborhood Due to Zika Outbreak

Following the identification of a neighborhood in Miami with local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Health Advisory recommending that pregnant women avoid traveling to the area.

The neighborhood is Wynwood, located north of downtown Miami and Overtown, and adjacent to Edgewater.

As news reports note, this is the first time the CDC has warned people to avoid traveling to an American neighborhood due to the risk of catching an infectious disease.

Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and severe fetal brain defects. It has also been associated with other adverse pregnancy outcomes.

On July 29, the Florida Department of Health (FL DOH) confirmed Florida's first local transmissions of the Zika virus in four individuals in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.

Other CDC recommendations include the following:
  • Pregnant women and their partners living in or traveling to the area with active Zika virus transmission identified by the FL DOH should follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.
  • Women and men who live in or who have traveled to the Miami area with active Zika virus transmission and who have a pregnant sex partner should consistently and correctly use condoms or other barriers to prevent infection during sex or not have sex for the duration of the pregnancy.
  • All pregnant women in the United States should be assessed for possible Zika virus exposure during each prenatal care visit.


Jul 20, 2016

Florida DOH Investigating Possible Non-Travel Related Case of Zika

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) has announced it is conducting an investigation into a possible non-travel related case of Zika virus in Miami-Dade County.

If confirmed, this would be the first reported non-travel associated case. As of July 13, there more than 1,300 travel-associated cases reported in U.S. states.

As news reports note, the Florida DOH is considering all known routes of transmission, including the possibility that it still could be travel related.

For a roundup of some of other the most significant Zika news from the past week, read this Zika update.