Up to 50% of combat injured patients from recent conflicts have suffered infectious complications, predominantly with multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria acquired nosocomially in the chain of tactical combat casualty care. These bacteria have ranged from MDR Acinetobacter baumannii-calcoaceticus associated with Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), to extended spectrum beta-lactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae from operations in Afghanistan. Experience from interventions at Level III facilities demonstrate that basic infection control (IC) procedures, such as improvements in hand hygiene, use of ventilator associated pneumonia bundles, and antimicrobial stewardship, can improve outcomes even in austere environments. While some systematic interventions have been implemented to mitigate this risk, including development of the Deployed Infection Control Course, the Multidrug-Resistance Surveillance Network, and the Trauma Infectious Disease Outcomes Study, ongoing vulnerabilities remain. Deployed microbiology capabilities should be strengthened, theater-level IC standard operating procedures should be implemented, and a joint, theater-level expert IC consultant should be appointed to be responsible for directing IC activities from Levels I to IV.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||U.S. Army Medical Department journal|
|State||Published - 1 Apr 2016|