CRE: The Nightmare Bacteria
Linda had a great yet possibly scary post on March 7
about resistant gram-negative bacteria. The post referred to the organisms as super bugs, although the technical term is CRE. It referenced the likelihood that once people are colonized with these organisms they may have them for several months. This clearly creates a problem for patients who are frequent fliers in the healthcare system.
If you have not cared for a patient with this organism, you should expect to soon- these organisms have been seen in patients from the Northeast United States. You should check you hospital's protocol for handling these patients- do you place them on contact precautions immediately, collect surveillance cultures?
I've received several calls from staff, patients and visitors about CRE.
The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology has prepared a flyer that highlights key points about CRE bacteria. It's aimed at the consumer but can certainly be adapted for healthcare workers.