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The Role of CSTDs in the Age of Antibiotic Resistance

It's one of the biggest health crises of the 21st century, yet we seldom talk about it. It kills upwards of 50,000 people per year in the United States and Europe alone, and worldwide claims 700,000. Over the next 35 years, the death toll is expected to soar as high as 10 million per year. What is this killer? Antibiotic resistance.

Healthcare professionals routinely work with patients suffering a wide range of infections, most of which have been treatable for almost a century. But with emerging strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria on the rise, we could face a future where antibiotics simply no longer work and something as minor as a papercut could have devastating health consequences.

implivia CSTDs Antibiotic Resistance

What Is Antibiotic Resistance?

Antibiotic resistance doesn't mean your body is resistant to antibiotics, but that the organism infecting you is resistant to them. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria or fungi develop the ability to defeat the drugs meant to kill them; instead of being wiped out by an antibiotic, the organism adapts. It becomes stronger and is no longer vulnerable to antibiotics that used to work.
Penicillin, discovered in 19281 and the very first antibiotic, was a miracle drug which allowed doctors to treat infections that were previously very harmful or even fatal. During and after the 1940s, other types of antibiotics also became available. But bacteria and fungi are like any other living thing — they find ways to survive. And that's exactly what these organisms have been doing for decades. This has led to strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are increasingly harder to kill. In fact, the World Health Organization has declared antibiotic resistance to be one of the biggest threats to global health today.2
implivia CSTDs Antibiotic Resistance

Why Antibiotic Resistance is a Problem for Healthcare

Hospitals are veritable petri dishes, and hospital-acquired bacterial infections are already a problem. Antibiotic-resistant infections acquired in-hospital are more difficult and expensive to treat, leading to longer hospital stays, higher costs, and perhaps most importantly higher mortality.

Effective antibiotics are also imperative in the treatment of a variety of conditions from organ transplants to orthopedic joint replacements or rheumatoid arthritis treatment. As bacteria become resistant, these treatments and procedures become more risky.

Healthcare workers are also at risk of hospital-acquired infections, some of which could be antibiotic-resistant. These infections could be spread to vulnerable patients or be difficult to treat, even in healthy people

Antibiotic resistance derives from a variety of factors including interaction of patients and micro-organisms with the hospital environment, and the environment itself. Infection control practices and antibiotic use also play a role; excessive prescribing of antibiotics by hospital doctors contributes to the selection and transfer of resistance genes, while cross colonization of patients — and spread between hospitals — can be reliant on transfer via the hands of staff.

Controlling antibiotic resistance necessitates strategies such as more stringent surveillance, improved detection of and reporting of resistant strains of bacteria should be a priority. Implementing policies governing infection control measures and the use of antibiotics are also imperative.

Closed System Transfer Devices and Antibiotic Resistance

As a healthcare professional, you're careful to take occupational safety precautions. Yet there's always some risk of drug exposure when you're working with antibiotics. Unfortunately, this could lead to sensitivities or allergic reactions and even bacterial resistance.

One study measured antibiotic contamination of the air and surfaces in nurses' work areas after antibiotic preparation. When conventional preparation techniques were used, widespread contamination of these areas was seen — nurses were touching and breathing traces of antibiotics.

But when Simplivia's closed system transfer device (CSTD) was used for antibiotic preparation, there was a significant decrease in surface contamination. No antibiotics were detected in the environmental air and surfaces.5

The Simplivia CSTD was effective for preventing accidental antibiotic exposure in this study. The newer-generation CSTD, Chemfort, offers all of the same benefits along with upgraded materials and improved usability.6

CSTD types may not be the first thing you think of in the fight against antibiotic resistance, but the Chemfort CSTD could reduce exposure which contributes to resistant bacteria strains. It could also potentially help reduce environmental contamination in hospitals.

CSTDs and Occupational Safety in Healthcare

In recent months, healthcare professionals have been working hard to curb the COVID-19 crisis. This collaboration shows that we can come together to address a global crisis. In the coming years, this is exactly what we'll need to do to combat antibiotic-resistant infections.

For decades, we've relied on antibiotics. Now, we must find ways to deal with antibiotic-resistant bacteria or we could face a post-antibiotic era where we can't treat common infections.3

At Simplivia, we honor your work, and we strive to produce quality medical devices that enhance nurses' safety. We're working to be part of the solution in the fight against antibiotic resistant infections. There are many ways to combat antibiotic resistance, and CSTDs are just one of them.

Explore our site to learn more about how our products help healthcare professionals work more safely and efficiently.

1. About Antibiotic Resistance. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2. Antibiotic Resistance. World Health Organization.
3. Antibiotic Resistance: a matter of time. Financial Times, Instagram post.
4. Fair, R., and Tor, Y. Antibiotics and Bacterial Resistance in the 21st Century. Perspectives in Medicinal Chemistry, 2014; 6: 25–64. Published online 2014 Aug 28.
5. Sessink, P., Nyulasi, T., Haraldsson, E., Rebic, B. Reduction of Contamination with Antibiotics on Surfaces and in Environmental Air in Three European Hospitals Following Implementation of a Closed-System Drug Transfer Device. Annals of Work Exposures and Health, Volume 63, Issue 4, May 2019, Pages 459–467.
6. Simplivia Healthcare Ltd.


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