“When he returned from the bathroom, that’s when it really hit me that this was serious. He was sweating as if he just worked out. His skin was greyish yellow. He really looked like death.”
The challenge is how to quickly determine which patients really need powerful drugs and which do not. Good antibiotic stewardship is a race against the clock. If patients need those drugs and don’t receive them in a timely manner, it may become too late to help them.
In 2015, the CRE strain of KPC (Klebsiella pneumonia carbapenemase) took the lives of seven patients at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center near Washington, D.C. According to the CDC, the first reported CRE case occurred in a North Carolina Hospital in 2001, and since then, cases have been identified in 41 states.