From the very beginnings of antibiotic therapy, scientists have feared that its widespread use can lead to the development of resistant bacterial strains, able to mutate into forms that can sidestep antibiotics.
In 1945, as the discovery of penicillin was hailed as a “magic bullet” that was the answer to so many infections and health problems that beset mankind. However, it is important to note that the discoverer of this first antibiotic himself, Alexander Fleming was aware of the potential dangers of the use of antibiotic, and warned that the abuse and misuse of this wonder drug could foster resistance to it (Sheff, 2001, p.42).
In 1941, almost every strain of Staphylococcus aureus was treatable with penicillin. However, by 1950, 60 percent of hospital-acquired Staphylococcus aureus infection was resistant to said drug. Indeed, Fleming’s prediction has been alarmingly prophetic (Sheff, 2001).
According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2 million people annually develop an infection from receiving healthcare in the US. (Houghton 2006) The CDC also indicates that between 90,000 to 100,000 patients die each year from healthcare-associated infection (HAI). This is an extensive problem that affects healthcare worldwide (Houghton, 2006).
HAIs exact a high price in terms of human suffering and morality. Moreover, HAIs exert a huge financial burden on healthcare institutions. In a 2004 study that focused on hospitals in Pennsylvania, 12,000 patients were found to develop HAIs during their hospital stay (Houghton, 2006). This translates to $2 billion in additional healthcare costs and at least 1500 preventable deaths (Houghton, 2006).
CDC (2006) defined HAIs as “infections that patients acquire during the course of receiving treatment.” HAIs are unnecessary tragedies because they are highly preventable. In response, the Department of Health released guidelines to prevent HAIs which hospitals were required to adopt (Houghton, 2006).
However, the guidelines did not provide precise directives as to how healthcare providers can evaluate their ability to comply with the guidelines or assess the efficacy of their procedures (Carling, Briggs, Hylander, & Perkins, 2006).
To this end, this research seeks to identify the prevalence of MRSA and VRE bacterial strains in HAIs at the Assir Central Hospital and Khamis Mushait Hospital, and identify how these MSRA and VRE strains are resistant to vancomycin. Results will then be related to how Assir Central Hospital and Khamis Mushait Hospital evaluated their guidelines and how effective they have been in combating MRSA and VRE in HAIs through vancomycin.
Research Hypothesis and Questions
The evaluation methods of Assir Central Hospital and Khamis Mushait Hospital have a significant relationship to the effectiveness of combating MRSA and VRE in HAIs.
The independent variable is the evaluation methods that Assir Central Hospital and Khamis Mushait Hospital use as far as combating MRSA and VRE in HAIs through vancomycin. The dependent variable is the effectiveness of the said hospitals in terms of successfully combating MRSA and VRE in HAIs.
Intervening variables that could affect the outcome of the research are the health practitioner’s level of awareness and education in so far as MRSA and VRE in HAIs are concerned
Research question: How cleaning and disinfecting practices affect the problem of Hеalth-associatеd infection?
Significance of the Study
Infections are serious problems because the infection can become systemic and lethal as the microorganisms involved develop resistance to antibiotics (Broadhead, Parra, & Skelton, 2001). Moreover, there is no simple answer to address the dangers of antibiotic-resistant organisms and their spread.
Roughly 10 to 20 percent of all healthy individuals carry Staphylococcus aureus in their “anterior nares at any given time,” which indicates the prevalence of this pathogen in the environment (Zaoutis, Dawid, & Kim, 2002, p. 313). Exacerbating the problem is the fact that other microorganisms continue to develop resistance to antibiotics and therefore pose a similar threat to public health (Wiseman, 2006).