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Posts Tagged ‘Maine cdc’

They called me crazy!

June 19th, 2013 33 comments

I recently ran into a doctor, that I knew during my work on MRSA prevention in 2009.  Well, actually I corralled him in a lobby after he did a presentation at a recent conference I attended.  He remembered me, and he didn’t call on me for Q&A, so I decided not to let him get away with that.  I have never been rude to anyone in my work, but I am certainly determined and honest.

His demeanor has changed drastically from when he testified against the bill I wrote in 2009, to prevent MRSA infections in Maine Hospitals.  I don’t know  if he was afraid of me because I am bigger than him, or if he agreed with others who called me crazy 4 years ago, but I sensed his discomfort while talking with me.    Even so, he was incredibly candid.  He actually told me that “they” called me crazy and they thought I would quit and give up on my endeavor for safer healthcare.  He was a more humble and agreeable man than I remember.  I believe that his personal healthcare experiences with his beloved parents  have changed his tune.  It’s amazing how humbling an experience with healthcare harm can change just about anyone’s perspective on the whole issue.

Imagine…calling me crazy.   Perhaps I was a little crazy.  I was crazy with anger and grief, because a downright dangerous healthcare system killed my father. His infection WAS preventable, but his facility failed him.    I believe that my craziness was justifiable.   My craziness  led to passion and an obsession of sorts.  That passion was to make a change in the lax and cavalier system that allowed this to happen to my father, and as I learned later, hundreds of thousands of others.   Passion led me to others, MRSA activists and experts, the internet, other MRSA victims and their families, legislators here in Maine,  media both written and TV, the Consumers Union Safe Patient Project, Maine Quality Counts, Maine Quality Forum, Maine CDC, CDC headquarters, the Federal DHS HAI stakeholder meetings, speaking and presentation opportunities, conferences, blogging….and on and on it goes.   My trip because of my craziness continues to be amazing.  The most amazing part of this work has been the other “crazy” people I have met.  Some of the most amazing patient safety experts and advocates in the world are on my email list.

Call me crazy, but I’m feeling pretty good about what I am doing….and if it helps to eliminate healthcare harm….we can add craziness to the list of necessary ingredients for success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MANDATORY PUBLIC MRSA REPORTING FOR MAINE

March 11th, 2010 No comments

imagesmaine1The  Maine Health and Human Services Committee had the opportunity on Tuesday, March 9, to remove the veil of secrecy from MRSA in the State of Maine.  It did not happen.  The suggestion was made that public, mandatory MRSA specific reporting through the National Heath Safety Network (CDC administered) be started.   They didn’t do it.  They missed the opportunity to make hospitals accountable and transparent.   Secrecy, lack of disclosure and accountability have historically been problems with MRSA.  These problems remain in Maine.   Many other States are reporting to NHSN.  ARRA funds were sent to Maine to encourage us to report to NHSN.  Over 20 hospitals have sent staff to be trained to do this reporting……..

BUT…in Maine the reporting that is proposed by the Maine CDC, for MRSA, is not to begin until 2012, is ONLY a proposal, and is  not mandated and the results will not be public.  What good is that to anyone except hospitals and the Maine CDC?  What will the result of such reporting be?  Not much..it is voluntary, secretive and useless and inaccessable for consumers.

Public reporting forces hospitals to COMPARE, COMPETE AND IMPROVE.   The March 2010 Consumer Report article regarding public reporting of hospital acquired bacteremia  proved that.

In January next year, we will go back, armed with the results of the MRSA prevalence test, experience from this past year dealing  with dishonest, but powerful hospitals and their lobby, and the fact that MRSA is still alive and well in our hospitals ………and we will fight for MRSA prevention in the form of Active Detection and Isolation and patient safety in Maine.   We will also fight to remove the shield of secrecy and deceipt that shields our hospital (from any accountability)  by proposing mandatory, public, MRSA specific reporting in the State of Maine.

Vinalhaven, Maine MRSA outbreak, controlled

January 30th, 2010 No comments

http://www.bangordailynews.com/detail/135860.html

Below is a photo of a Hand MRSA.  Many of the infections on Vinalhaven affected the hands.

handmrsa

This is an update on a link I added here a few days back.  It is good to hear that the MRSA outbreak on Vinalhaven Island in Maine has been controlled.  Comments in this article make it sound like they were plagued with flea  bites. 

MRSA is a bit more serious than claimed here.  Some of these victims had to be treated with powerful IV antibiotics.  Some of them will be plagued with repeated infections and all of the victims families have been exposed within their homes to MRSA.  Simple exposure is not in and of itself a problem.  But, many of them may have become colonized.  that means they will carry the MRSA bug.  That is also not a problem UNLESS they become gravely ill and/or need hospitalization for invasive procedure. MRSA can then rear it’s ugly head and cause a myriad of problems.  Patients must make their doctor and hospital aware of their close exposure to the infection.  If the doctor does not order a MRSA screening, the patient should demand one.  If they are colonized, they can have a simple treatment that will decrease their chances of serious active infection a great deal.  And, they can be separated from patient who do not carry MRSA thus avoiding spread of the desease.

I suggested that former MRSA patients and caretakers of MRSA patients to be included in the populations to be screened by our hospitals here in Maine.  They were not included.  My opinion is that was a big mistake.  Nobody wants to incite panic, but a little bit of panic makes people pay attention and absorb important information about their health and risks to it.   MRSA status on admission to the hospitals is a very important status to be aware of.

So, it is good that the Maine CDC got right on this outbreak and worked to control it.  I just hope they added  this  important patient education (about avoiding serious infection in the future) to their investigation  process on the Island.