There are reports from across the country regarding severe influenza in young people. In addition to mechanical ventilation, many are requiring extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Given the severity of illness and the presence of multiple organ dysfunction, relying on an oral antiviral for influenza therapy seems unwise. However, at this point, the only option for intravenous therapy is IV zanamivir, which is not approved by the FDA, but available on ...

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There’s a piece in the Atlantic entitled "The Psychology of Lululemon." I probably would not have read that article but for the fact that I was in Lululemon recently buying my wife some yoga clothes. This turned out to be an interesting read. The premise of the piece is that athletic clothing makes people want to work out -- that in some way, clothes have power over the wearer. Of course, I ...

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Recently, I have spent a lot of time talking to patients, trying to explain why I've had to cancel their upcoming fecal transplant. The FDA has ruled that stool is an investigational new drug (IND), which now imposes a huge bureaucratic hurdle to getting a much needed therapy for patients with recurrent or intractable C. difficile infection. Even before the FDA did this, there were already hurdles for patients who are really suffering ...

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Like hand hygiene, getting workers to stay home when sick is an example of a horizontal infection prevention strategy. Horizontal strategies are multipotent (not aimed at a single pathogen), generally simple methods. While most humans inherently know that it's not a good idea to come to work with fever or diarrhea, many either can't or won't stay home and risk infecting co-workers, customers, or patients. One major reason for ...

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Those of you who have followed our blog for the past few years probably know that one of my favorite topics in infection prevention is the role of clothing in transmission of pathogens. But I'm also fascinated by the sociologic aspects of clothing in medicine, which is usually framed around questions of professionalism (for example, is a doctor in a white coat more "professional" than a doctor ...

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