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Risk Factors for Infection in the Elderly
Pages 65-75

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From page 65...
... Given existing knowledge of the burdens caused by infections and the limited range of current preventive measures, only a few of the infection categories mentioned above can be given priority for 65
From page 66...
... Death rates from pneumococcal bacteremia range from 20 to 80 percent, increasing with age and complications.~02636 37 Although antibiotics are considered to be effective in the treatment of pneumococcal diseases, deaths and complications often occur despite the prompt use of effective antibiotics. Further reductions in morbidity and mortality from pneumococcal diseases require that preventive measures be used.
From page 67...
... There is also a great need for more education of physicians, public health agencies, and the elderly themselves regarding the benefits of pneumococcal vaccine. Medicare should promote the vaccine more actively (an individual's Medicare card could indicate whether he or she had received the vaccine!
From page 68...
... viruses and must be given every year because of changing viruses and declining antibody levels. In field studies, vaccines have proven to be approximately 70 percent effective in preventing influenza illness, with the remaining 30 percent of vaccinees suffering a milder illness than that acquired by unvaccinated persons.
From page 69...
... They are unlike the previous risk factors discussed in this chapter in that they are not one specific infection; nevertheless, they constitute an important risk for the elderly. The incidence of nosocomial infections is greater in the elderly than in any other population groups; the elderly have the highest rates of nosocomial urinary tract infections, infected surgical wounds, and nosocomial pneumonia and bacteremia.~7 23 25 46 In addition, the incidence rates for these infections increase with each day in the hospital.45 The costs resulting from nosocomial infections are also great because they prolong hospital stays and often require separate treatment.9 5i These infections cause severe morbidity and may result in death.2i 22 Much progress has been made in preventing nosocomial infec*
From page 70...
... The administration of tetanus vaccine should be considered for injury-prone residents as most elderly individuals have not been previously immunized." The committee recommends that accrediting agencies require the institution of proper infection control practices as part of nursing home licensure standards. In addition, efforts should continue to avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and to encourage shorter hospital stays.
From page 71...
... Any elderly person with valvular heart conditions known to predispose an individual to endocarditis should receive antibiotic prophylaxis for any procedure known to cause bacteremia. All elderly individuals with a known risk factor for the acquired immune deficiency syndrome {AIDS)
From page 72...
... Journal of the American Medical Association 1980; 244:2547-2549.
From page 73...
... Journal of the American Medical Association 1961; 176: 104- 110.
From page 74...
... Journal of the American Medical Association 1982; 248:1486-1489.
From page 75...
... Journal of the American Medical Association 1978; 240:2455-2458. Verghese, A., and Berk, S


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