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New CDC Program, preventing infections in cancer patients

October 25, 2011

Premier Safety Institute - Safety Share Newsletter

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New CDC program, guidelines, preventing infections in cancer patients

Each year, more than one million cancer patients receive outpatient chemotherapy or radiation therapy each year. Lapses in basic infection prevention and control in oncology clinics have resulted in outbreaks of viral hepatitis and bacterial bloodstream infections. Given their vulnerable condition, greater attention to infection prevention is necessary when caring for these patients.

CDC’s new program, preventing infections in cancer patients

This week, CDC is launching a new program called
"Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients". It
includes two new tools for patients and their
healthcare providers: (1) an interactive website and
(2) a "Basic Infection Control and Prevention Plan
for Outpatient Oncology settings."

Interactive website

The interactive website helps patients, caregivers and healthcare providers assess risk for developing neutropenia
and infection. After completing an on-line
questionnaire, tailored information is provided to
the patient, care giver or healthcare provider about
how to lower the risk of infection and steps to stay
healthy during chemotherapy, including caring for
catheters, as well as for pets, food/kitchen safety. 

"Infection Control and Prevention Plan for Outpatient Oncology Settings"
CDC has developed a basic plan intended for all outpatient oncology facilities to serve as a model with policies and procedures based on CDC’s evidence-based guidelines and guidelines from professional societies. Topics in the plan include:

– Standard precautions and application of
transmission-based precautions
              – Hand hygiene, injection safety, medication handling, cleaning and disinfection
              – Surveillance and reporting
              – Central venous catheter access and care

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