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ADVANCE Discourse: Lab

Fungal Infections On the Rise?

Published March 22, 2012 2:24 PM by Kelly Bocich
I was catching up on recent coverage from some of our sister publications today, when this article from ADVANCE for Nurses caught my attention. Advances in medicine have, undoubtedly, extended our longevity. In ICUs, this means fungal infections may have more time to gain a stronghold in immunocompromised patients.

Brenda Shelton, MS, RN, CCRN, AOCN, was interviewed for the article. "The biggest misconception is the belief that fungal infections are rare," she said. "Another misconception is fungal infections are like every other severe infection. They are harder to manage, harder to eradicate and more frequent than people realize."

Lethal microbes aren't new, but these infections are on the rise because in addition to increased longevity, there is simply a lack of awareness and a failure to check.

"Nurses are not looking," she said. "Fungal cultures may require different media, handling, labeling or a different laboratory for processing. If you don't look, you won't find. And as a result you will not think fungal infections are prevalent."

What kind of patterns have you noticed in fungal infections at your facility? Has your laboratory seen an increase?

posted by Kelly Bocich


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