therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs), especially those who
have patients with wounds, are encouraged to take steps to protect their most
vulnerable patients from carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), a
family of germs that have become difficult to treat because they have high
levels of resistance to antibiotics. In addition to patients at high risks, PTs
and PTAs should take all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of CRE to
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC), CRE are resistant to all, or nearly all, antibiotics—even the most
powerful drugs of last-resort. CRE also have high mortality rates, killing 1 in
2 patients who get bloodstream infections from them. Additionally, CRE easily
transfer their antibiotic resistance to other bacteria. For example,
carbapenem-resistant klebsiella can spread its drug-destroying properties to a
normal E. coli bacteria, which makes the E.coli resistant to
antibiotics also. "That could create a nightmare scenario since E. coli
is the most common cause of urinary tract infections in healthy people,"
CRE are usually transmitted
person-to-person, often on the hands of health care workers. Currently,
almost all CRE infections occur in people receiving significant medical
care. However, their ability to spread and their resistance raises the
concern that potentially untreatable infections could appear in otherwise
healthy people, including health care providers.
includes resources for patients, providers, and
facilities. The agency's CRE prevention toolkit has in-depth recommendations to
control CRE transmission in hospitals, long-term acute care facilities, and
is in the process of updating its Infectious Disease Control webpage to ensure that
PTs and PTAs have the information they need to understand their critical role
in helping to halt the spread of CRE. Look for a follow-up article in News
Now when the webpage is launched.
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