Author(s): Serrano M, Barcenilla F, Limn E
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Abstract The long-term care facilities (LTCF) are the health care level that integrates medical assistance and social services according to the requirements of its beneficiaries. There is a great variability depending on the users profile, the professional staff and accessibility to technical resources for diagnosis, treatment or rehabilitation. In LTCF different factors are shaping a challenge in the infection control. These factors are high prevalence of infection and colonization by multiresistant microorganisms (MROs), a high rate of, often inadequate, antibiotic prescriptions, the high transfer of hospital patients, and the lack of diagnostic resources. In infection studies in LTCF, one of the main problems is the lack of standard, and well defined, infection criteria. The special features of infections in the elderly population, together with the limited resources, make it necessary to establish standard and worldwide validated criteria in order achieve appropriate monitoring and control of infection. The most common infection is the respiratory, followed by the urinary, skin and soft tissue, gastro-intestinal tract, and eyes. The problematic microorganisms most frequently identified in LTCF are enterobacteriaceae extended spectrum beta lactamase, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). A successful infection control mainly depends on two actions. First, a high compliance of standard precautions and second, patient organization according to the risk of transmission of a particular MROs infection, especially MRSA. This risk classification may be a way to rationalize application measures, and the incorporation of ethical and legal issues. The level of stratification is established mainly according to the condition of being colonized or infected, the MROs anatomical location, and the degree of behavioral disorders suffered by the patient. Implementation of extensive screening programs or complex monitoring programs, as in acute care hospitals are not indicated. The epidemiological surveillance must adapt to clinical guidelines, with the registering of colonized and infected patients being mandatory, along with the coordination between health and social systems by applying global control programs. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier España, S.L. y Sociedad Española de Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin
and referenced in Journal of Infectious Diseases and Diagnosis