Influenza spreads wide and small

This study found that hospitalized influenza patients can transmit influenza particles up to 6 feet away, and the particle sizes were smaller than what could be controlled with standard surgical masks. This study calls into question the efficacy of standard droplet precautions to limit the spread of influenza (abstract).

Shortage of TB skin tests

The CDC has announced a nationwide shortage of TB skin tests. They are recommending deferring routine screening in low risk populations, and considering using the interferon gamma release assay blood test as an alternative screening method (CDC site).

Coccidiomycosis on the rise

This CDC report found that coccidiomycosis infections (eg "valley fever") have increased substantially, from ~5 to 43 (per 100,000 people) in endemic regions (eg southwest US). Hospitalists should include this in the differential of flu-like illnesses in patients who have been in the endemic region (abstract).

Overcoming common barriers to CAUTI reduction

This cohort of Michigan hospitals found the most common barriers to reducing CAUTI included difficulty engaging providers, family requests for foley catheters, and ED foley insertion practices. These can be overcome by incorporating CAUTI reduction in other patient safety initiatives, educating patients and families, and engaging the ED with appropriate insertion criteria (abstract).

CAUTI reduction feasible with preventive measures

This large cohort of hospitals within and outside Michigan found hospitals within Michigan were significantly more likely to participate in CAUTI preventive measures (such as bladder scanning, removal protocols, and stop orders) compared to hospitals outside of Michigan. This coincided with a 25% reduction in CAUTI within Michigan, versus a 6% reduction in CAUTI in the US outside of Michigan. The consistent use of prevention tactics can significantly reduce CAUTI (abstract).