"Coming to a Hospital near you"
The Battle over multiple drug resistant microbes: MRSA, Acinetobacter, C. Difficile, etc. "Irresponsible medicine"
Early this year an outbreak of MDR Acinetobacter Baumannii swept over Arizona, 236 cases in just two months. It was reported by the state disease monitoring systems, but ignored on the national level.
Now dubbed "Supergerms", they spread without warning and seemingly without official notices since they are infections instead of diseases. The government is taking advantage of this technicality.
An ICU nurse at Bethesda Naval in Washington DC leaves work feeling under the weather. Within 24 hours she is in a community hospital, intubated, with Acinetobacter Baumannii. It was determined that the bacteria were acquired from a patient at work. She succumbed to the infection quickly and with no fan fare. The story went silent.
At Brook Army Medical Center in Texas a soldier fights for his life, as his combat wounds are made worse by infections the doctors can't seem to handle. The only reason his story is known is that his civilian girl friend speaks up for him.
This outbreak that is spreading nation wide is largely due to the war in Iraq, and because of a legal technicality in reporting, the military and CDC will not discuss it publicly.
More people come forward, bit by bit, telling stories of how the hospital played down their infection. The one person who could have done something about it, "Rep. Dennis Moore" has walked away from the issue deciding it wasn't worth getting into even after what he had seen on a visit to Walter Reed.
This silent killer is continuing to spread, and to an indifferent country until it's YOUR turn. These bacteria will grow out of control in the near future as it spreads through neglect.
Every VAMC in this country that had a soldier from Iraq in it is contaminated with MDR AB, as simple as a doorknob or privacy curtain to pass it on. Doctors often work at VA hospitals and community hospitals also.
As long as it doesn't have to be reported it will not be.
You're on your own America, until you say enough is enough.
Comments posted March 4th 2006
By September 2004 the Department of Defense had collected 934 positive Acinetobacter Baumannii cultures from 432 persons. This reported from the Navy Environmental Health Center in Bethesda.
On September 21st, 2004 the Armed Forces Epidemiology Board met. They talked about Acinetobacter Baumannii with 350 colonized soldiers as well as 200 infections.
Yet, the CDC / DOD only announced 102 infection cases in the November 19th, 2004 MWMR report:
85 of the cases were OIF/OEF
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center 33
Walter Reed Army Medical Center 45
U.S. Navy hospital ship Comfort 11
National Naval Medical Center 8
Brooke Army Medical Center 5
By August 2005 Forbes reported that at least 280 cases of infection had been reported. The DOD stodgily stood by public statements of 112 infections.
The argument from CHPPM / MEDCOM is that colonized soldiers are a different story from infected soldiers. A colonized soldier however is still a carrier. CHPPM is also trying to say since this is just an infection they don't have to report it like infectious disease. They are not cooperating to provide any updated statistics on it because of a directive at MEDCOM stating they do not want to expose military vulnerabilities publicly.
So its going to take a Congressional Inquiry to CHPPM in order to get a true idea of just how many cases of Acinetobacter Baumannii there are in the military. That and how many are carriers. Spreading this infection from one hospital to another in America.
Here is one example:
A soldier dies in VA care at the James A. Haley Medical Center in Tampa Florida, in December 2004. He had extensive surgery in Iraq and was medivac'd to Landstuhl, Germany, Bethesda MD, and finally JHMC. This was head, chest, and abdomen trauma. After his death it was determined that he had tested positive twice for the Acinetobacter, which would have changed the clinical outcome if
they had treated for it. (Page 22 of IG report)
What about the 7 cases at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii? Why were Chief Warrant Officer 3 Claude Boushey Sr.'s case and others not discussed? That was July 2004.
In other cases, family members cannot get the medical records of their deceased soldiers. Many have died from non-combat injuries that the Pentagon is unwilling to disclose information about even to the parents. These stall tactics keep anyone but the military from knowing how many died of complications that the Acinetobacter Baumannii contributed too.
More than likely OIF troops walking into any Veteran Affairs Medical Center are possible colonized cases that contaminate that facility.
This is a national threat to public health safety that the Department of Defense has taken a very lax position on. What the public doesn't know wont hurt them, which is certainly not true with a drug resistant bacteria that can be passed with as little as a handshake.
- Thu, 23 Feb 2006
Master Cpl. Paul Franklin of Halifax lost a leg, Cpl. Jeffrey Bailey from Edmonton had devastating head injuries, and Pte. William Salikin of Grand Forks, B.C., also suffered a head injury.
- The three soldiers were first taken to a U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany. When they left a week later, all three men were infected with drug-resistant bacteria.
- Medical specialists aren't certain whether most infections started in the battlefield or the hospital.
- "It's thought that they may have gotten it from going through the hospital in Landstuhl," said Lt.-Col. Henry Flaman, a Canadian military doctor in Edmonton.
- Acinetobacter baumannii has become one of the most common sources of infections among American troops wounded in Iraq.
The bacteria are found in soil and water in Iraq. When the microbes enter traumatic wounds in the battlefield, the superbug can cause serious damage.
Forbes Magazine - August 2nd 2005 NEW YORK - Military doctors are fighting to contain an outbreak of a potentially deadly drug-resistant bacteria that apparently originated in the Iraqi soil. So far at least 280 people, mostly soldiers returning from the battlefield, have been infected, a number of whom contracted the illness while in U.S. military hospitals. Most of the victims are relatively young troops who were injured by the land mines, mortars and suicide bombs that have permeated the Iraq conflict. No active-duty soldiers have died from the infections, but five extremely sick patients who were in the same hospitals as the injured soldiers have died after being infected with the bacteria, Acinetobacter baumannii.
Treating Injured U.S. Service Members, 2002--2004
- From January 1, 2002 to August 31, 2004, military health officials identified 102 patients with blood cultures of Acinetobacter baumannii at military medical facilities treating service members injured in Afghanistan and the
- Iraq/Kuwait region.
- Most of the infections were reported from
- Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany
- 33 patients: 32 OIF/OEF casualties, one non-OIF/OEF, and Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC), District of Columbia
- 45 patients: 29 OIF/OEF casualties, 16 non-OIF/OEF.
- The Acinetobacter Baumanii strain was isolated to the soil in Iraq, and enters through dirty battle field wounds or serious infections ( Pneumonia ). The British Health Protection Agency was the first to publicly identify this in March 2003, and DOD waited till November 2004 to recognize it after the CDC posted the findings of the 102 cases.
- Cases of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis at Walter Reed Army Hospital also showed up with Acinetobacter Baumannii. One person from there wants to meet others who were there to share stories.