Nursing Home Residents and “Superbugs”

Johns Hopkins has recently released a study that indicates that patients that resided in long term care facilities within the last six months are more likely to be infected with drug resistant superbugs.    There was no definitive explanation for the increased risk, but researchers believe that underlying illnesses and weakened immune systems in nursing home residents are a factor.  Those residents who are wheelchair or bed -bound have an even higher risk of superbug infection – 22 times higher than patients who hadn’t resided in long-term care facilities.  The problem with superbugs is that they can lead to dangerous bloodstream infections.

The result of this study, at least immediately for Johns Hopkins, is that all patients who have been in the long-term care stetting will be tested for superbugs, and will be treated as infected until the test results are in.  In terms of nursing homes, this study shows how wide spread drug resistant bacterial infection has become, and indicates the need for better infection control in long term care facilities.