Nursing homes using special soap on patients to fight drug-resistant germs

April 18, 2019

Nursing homes in California and Illinois are washing patients with a special soap to battle antibiotic-resistant superbugs, according to an article on the NPR website.

The new strategy, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is being tested at 50 facilities. The antimicrobial soap chlorhexidine has been shown to reduce infections when patients bathe with it.

At least 2 million people in the U.S. become infected with an antibiotic-resistant bacteria every year. About 23,000 die, according to the CDC.

While the bathing tests are being done only in nursing homes, the results affect hospitals, too, because nursing home patients are often sent back to hospitals because of infections. The program in Illinois also includes a campaign to promote hand-washing and increased communication among hospitals about which patients carry the drug-resistant organisms.

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