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Are ICUs in the United States Hospitals Safe Enough

The Intensive Care Unit or ICU is a very protected and restricted place in any hospital. Patients requiring immediate attention and extreme care are treated here. They are kept under observation and any undesirable development is addressed straightway by the doctors. This place is kept neat and clean on regular basis. Silence is maintained round the clock here though the ICUs are situated at isolated places from other departments of the hospital. Relatives of the patients are allowed to enter these places a handful of times. Nurses insist the relatives to wear masks and protective dresses before the meet the patient. It is to avoid spreading of germs from outside in to the ICU.

According to a recent study (dated December 2009), unfortunately, there is a cause of worry emerging for the health officials in the United States. A dreadful bacteria called Acinetobacter is becoming drug resistant increasingly. This bacteria is found in the ICU and is known to spread infections in the patients. Since the natural protective system of patients in ICU is weak, this bacteria finds it easy to spread the infection rapidly. These infections are mostly caused in the blood stream and lead to severe pneumonia. Off late, soldiers returning from Iraq are found to complaint about these infections.

Generally, an antibiotic drug called Imipenem is used as a last resort to kill this bacteria in ICU. But researchers of this study have a different story to say. They collected data about the effectiveness of this drug against the bacteria in 300 hospitals of the United States. The study was carried out from the year 1999 to 2006. At the end of their study, it is found that the ability of the bacteria Acinetobacter to resist the drug Imipenem has increased by 300 percent. This study was carried out by a project group named Extending the Cure. It aims at studying the effectiveness of antibiotic drugs against bacteria from time to time. It is funded by an Organization called the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio.

A matter of serious concern for the researchers of this study is that health officials do not show adequate attention to potential health threats initially. This lack of pro activeness proves costly in the long run.

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