The focus on combating coronavirus during the pandemic has made it easier for other healthcare associated infections (HAIs) to spread. Many of the interventions to prevent, test and monitor for HAI were deprioritized to have additional resources available to address the pandemic. In addition, COVID-19 patients and their treatment increase potential for HAI. Steroids to treat COVID-19 can suppress the immune system. Ventilators, in high demand during COVID-19 spikes, are harbingers of antimicrobials.
A report in the New York Times identifies a rise in infections including Candida auris and carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii during the pandemic. In light of the pandemic’s role in this increase, many national infectious disease groups have petitioned the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to freeze rules that tie reimbursement rates to hospital-acquired infections. Healthcare has justifiably focused its efforts on the COVID-19 pandemic, but additional attention must be given to prevent other HAIs. Read more