Hospital-acquired infections can be deadly and nurses can play a key role in preventing or ameliorating those infections. New guidelines for helping hospital patients survive sepsis, through early recognition and timely interventions recognize and capitalize on nurses' interaction with and proximity to patients. The guidelines, published in Critical Care Medicine and Intensive Medicine, highlight the role of critical care nurses in identifying patients with sepsis, initiating treatment and collecting data. That role was the focus of a presentation at the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses 2013 National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition in Boston earlier this month, covered in MedScape Medical News.
Reducing central line-associated bloodstream infections was the focus of an INQRI-funded study led by David Thompson and Jill Marsteller. Their study, involving 45 intensive care units in 35 hospitals in 12 states tested a nurse-led intervention that used a bundle of evidence-based practices to reduce infections. The intervention was successful in significantly reducing infections and also highlighted the importance of promoting a culture of safety and communication. It also established that nurses should play a central role in quality improvement interventions.