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Drug-resistant KPC Bacteria Resurfaces in Midst of Covid-19 Pandemic

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For more information about KPC, visit https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3075864/.

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Drug-resistant  bacteria  re-surfaces in midst of covid pandemic


Posted 27/09/2020

The re-appearance of KPC, a drug and anti-biotic resistant bacteria which killed  37 patients in one hospital the last time it appeared has sent alarm signals through Panama’s health system.

The appearance of KPC in a hospital cannot be taken lightly, according to the National Negotiating Medical Commission (Comenenal), because there are no antibiotics against it and because it can be fatal.

 It appeared in one of the intensive care rooms of Hospital Santo Tomas

Domingo Moreno, Comenelal coordinator aid that after the deaths from the bacteria in the Social Security Fund, almost a decade ago, the nosocomial committees of each hospital routinely applied rectal swabs to patients who were transferred from one site to another, to rule out the presence of KPC. " It was stopped applying because now the attention is on Covid-19, but rectal swabbing was a common procedure," Moreno said.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Santo Tomas has been receiving a large number of patient transfers from other hospital entities

“Given this situation, the protocols established in the hospital for the containment and control of this type of outbreak have been activated. Some of the actions include the strict use of gowns and gloves when coming into contact with these patients, exclusive personnel to care for them, reinforcing handwashing, and rational use of antibiotics, ”the hospital reported.

In the Dr. Arnulfo Arias Madrid Hospital Complex of the Social Security Fund (CSS), when there were at least 71 patients in isolation due to KPC and 37 deaths were reported.

For Domingo Moreno, the scenario should lead the medical authorities of the different hospitals to be more strict in terms of compliance with health measures, since putting together the Covid-19 and the KPC is like having one " pistol in the chest and a sword in the neck ”.

The intensivist doctor Julio Osorio said that from time to time these outbreaks of KPC appear because the bacteria become resistant to antibiotics.

Osorio warned that KPC can become a serious problem because it takes advantage of critically ill patients. "If we are careless, what happened in 2011 could happen again," he said.



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