CRE, or Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae, is a particularly threatening family of germs that has developed a high resistance to antibiotics. According to the CDC, infections with these germs are very difficult to treat and can be deadly. Patients whose care requires ventilators, urinary catheters, or intravenous catheters, and patients who are taking long courses of certain antibiotics are most at risk for CRE infections.
According to the CDC, health care providers should follow the steps below to protect residents and staff from the bacteria:
- Place patients currently or previously colonized or infected with CRE on Contact Precautions.
- Wear a gown and gloves when caring for patients with CRE.
- Perform hand hygeiene, use alcohol-based hand rub, and/or wash hands with soap and water before and after contact with an infected patient or their environment.
- Prescribe and use antibiotics wisely.
- Discontinue devices such as urinary catheters as soon as they are no longer necessary for the patient's care.