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CDC announces push to prevent infections in cancer patients


By Maureen McKinney
Posted: October 25, 2011 - 7:00 am ET
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has unveiled a new program created to help prevent infections among cancer patients. As part of the initiative, the CDC introduced an interactive website and a 21-page prevention plan for use in outpatient oncology centers.

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“Cancer patients receiving chemotherapy often have weak immune systems and need to be kept safe against germs,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC (PDF), in a news release. “These new resources help patients take an active role in protecting themselves against infection and give doctors, nurses and other clinicians necessary tools to better prevent infection.”

The newly launched website includes an assessment tool that patients can use to understand their risk of developing an infection. The prevention plan, on the other hand, specifically targets oncology centers with evidence-based practices and other resources.

“It is critical that care of this vulnerable patient population be provided under conditions that minimize the risk of healthcare-associated infections," the CDC said in the release. "This responsibility should be shared by clinicians, to follow best practices and facility administrators, to ensure that staff has appropriate resources and training. A combined approach will help to emphasize the importance of creating a culture of infection prevention at all healthcare facilities.”


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