Ambulances are in almost every city in the United States. Depending on the city and service, ambulances can go on over a dozen calls a day. With each call and patient, healthcare workers and ambulance surfaces are exposed to new organisms. EMS (Emergency Medical Services) providers are constantly treating and transporting patients with viral infections and bacterial infections, trauma patients with open wounds, and patients with weak immune systems, such as young children and elderly (Caroline, 2013). Depending on the service, certain ambulances might get a higher population of patients with weakened immune systems than others, or more patients that have spent prolonged periods of time in hospitals. Continue reading “What’s in US Ambulances?”
Understanding the role of microbes in our environment and how antimicrobial resistance and hospital acquired infections are spread in the healthcare environment are some of the highlights of modern science.
Our new environment
People living in the United States spend 90% of their time indoors (Klepeis et al 2016). We live in our homes, work in our office buildings, and spend recreational time in the gym. One such common indoor environment- where we are born, and get treated for illnesses- is the hospital. How has this shift into the indoors impacted human health? Studies have linked this new environment to diseases like asthma and allergies (Fujimura et al 2014). In 2011, there were an estimated 722,000 hospital acquired infections in the U.S. (Magill et al 2014). And these infections- termed nosocomial infections- are reported as a leading cause of patient deaths (Anderson 2002). Continue reading “Here Is What Scientists Are Doing to Combat the Dangers of the Healthcare Environment”