MONDAY, Oct. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Bloodstream infections contracted during a hospital stay are usually caused by a patient’s own digestive tract, not a doctor’s dirty hands or another patient’s cough, a small new study suggests.
Stanford University researchers used new computer software to quickly identify the source of bloodstream infections among 30 patients. The findings showed that the infections mostly started in patients’ own bodies — often in the large intestine.
Being able to trace these infections to their source, rather than guessing, is a big step toward addressing the risk factors, said Dr. Ami Bhatt, an assistant professor of hematology and genetics at Stanford.
“Until now, we couldn’t pinpoint those sources with high confidence,” Bhatt said in a university news release. “That’s a problem because when a patient has a bloodstream infection, it’s not enough simply to administer broad-spectrum antibiotics. You need to treat the source, or the infection will come back.”