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Seven-Year Data Shows Coated Catheters Reduce Risk of Bacteria in Blood

An infectious disease physician presented seven-year data showing that coating central venous catheters with antibiotics minocycline and rifampin reduces the risk of bacteria getting into the blood. The data also showed no proof that the antibiotics promote resistance to bacteria, which some researchers had been concerned about. Issam Raad of the University of Texas M.D.

Anderson Cancer Center presented his findings at the 18th annual scientific conference of the Society for Healthcare Epidemology of America. This could be a significant step in preventing catheter-related infections, which are responsible for 250 deaths each day in the United States. It is also good news for Cook Medical, which makes catheters coated with the antibiotics studied. Dr. Raad is the co-inventor of that pairing, and receives royalties from Cook. In other infection-control news, a study showed that for three kinds of surgery, laparoscopic procedures reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections by 52%, and of readmission by 65%, as compared to open surgery. The study, conducted by Ethicon Endo-Surgery and presented at the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons annual meeting, looked at hysterectomies, appendectomies, and gallbladder removals. It is the first study to look infections related to these procedures up to 30 days after discharge. It points to the benefits minimally invasive surgery can have in terms of patient care and keeping healthcare costs down.

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