Government and Regulations

CDC Reviews a Year of Health ‘Nightmares’

Antibiotic resistance makes the CDC’s list of “what kept us up at night” in 2015.


The CDC recently released an article titled 2015: What Kept Us Up at Night and What Will Keep Us Busy in 2016, which lists antibiotic resistance as a top concern. According to the CDC, in 2015 more than 23,000 Americans died from these “largely preventable” infections; but it “learned that when health care facilities coordinate their efforts, they can prevent the spread of nightmare bacteria resistant to most antibiotics.” Newly published guidelines intended to support better communication and prevent the spread of bacteria provide instructions on how state and local health departments can alert local facilities when antibiotic-resistant bacteria are reported in their area.

In 2016, the CDC will aim to reverse the number of deaths from infections resistant to antibiotics. The next steps include the debut of the AR Patient Safety Atlas, an interactive web platform with open access to antibiotic resistance data on healthcare-associated infections reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network.

This year the CDC also will release the first antibiotic stewardship report on progress in prescribing practices. “We must preserve these miracle medications,” the year-end review says, “so we can avoid returning to the pre-antibiotic era when minor infections often led to death.”

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