Championship manager Terry Francona teams up with Covidien, APIC and Massachusetts Health Leaders for "Strike Out Infection" event at Boston's Fenway Park
BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 24, 2008--Healthcare leaders in
Massachusetts, together with championship baseball manager Terry
Francona, met today at Fenway Park to discuss ways to reduce rates of
deadly Staph infections in the state.
The discussion follows the recent launch of the Strike Out
Infection campaign - a national initiative against Staph infections
led by Francona in partnership with Covidien Ltd., a leading global
healthcare products company based in Massachusetts, and the
Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology
In 2002, Francona contracted a Staph infection after routine
surgery and became seriously ill. "Unfortunately, many people like me
don't know about these infections or that there are ways to prevent
them. That's why I'm partnering with Covidien and APIC to launch
Strike Out Infection -- to raise awareness and educate people that
there are ways to prevent infections," Francona said.
Staph infections are caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria,
which generally enter the body through a cut or wound. In the
community, these infections can be spread by a shared towel, razor or
piece of sports equipment, or through skin-to-skin contact. An
increasing number of Staph bacteria are now resistant to powerful
antibiotics, such as methicillin, which has given rise to the deadly
strain, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
The Strike Out Infection campaign features
www.strikeoutinfection.com, an online resource where people can learn
more about deadly infections, ways to prevent them and who is at risk
of becoming infected.
Today's event in Boston, which was attended by nurses, infection
control specialists, educators and athletic trainers, brings
significant awareness to this issue. In addition to Francona, the
panel of speakers at the meeting included Peter J. Koutoujian, House
Chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Health; John Auerbach, M.D.,
M.P.H., Commissioner of the Department of Public Health; Maureen
Spencer, R.N., M.Ed., CIC of APIC and Infection Control Manager, New
England Baptist Hospital; David Fink, Covidien Director of Research
and Development, Advanced Wound Care; and Alan Block, M.D., of Ohio
State University Medical Center.
A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) estimates that, in 2005, there were 94,000 cases of
invasive MRSA in the U.S. that caused nearly 19,000 deaths.(1) In
2007, APIC released results from the first nationwide MRSA prevalence
study, which showed infection rates to be eight times greater than
previous estimates. The APIC study was the first to measure rates of
both MRSA infection and colonization (patients carrying and able to
transmit MRSA) to determine MRSA prevalence more accurately.(2)
"Decreasing MRSA and other infections is a high priority in
Boston, and there is already a lot of work under way on this front,"
said Spencer. "The continued collaboration of these healthcare leaders
will be of paramount importance in fighting the spread of MRSA."
Surgeons and nurses take painstaking care preparing for surgery by
following strict infection control procedures, including washing their
hands, carefully preparing a sterile operating room environment, and
ensuring the use of sterile surgical instruments and materials. It's
important that people become informed about hospital infection
prevention measures by asking their hospital questions about these
programs and the professionals that lead them. Additionally, people
should practice good hand hygiene and talk to their doctor about how
to protect against infection, such as using antiseptic skin cleansers
and antibiotic dressings that protect areas of the skin that have been
"The Campaign to Strike-Out Infection represents an effort by
public health stakeholders to raise awareness about the growing threat
of staph infections while promoting innovative practices intended to
reduce or eliminate them," Koutoujian said. "I am proud to support
"The emergence of infections that are resistant to numerous
antibiotics has prompted researchers and infectious disease experts to
mobilize and develop new and effective ways to prevent wound
infections," said David Fink, Director of Research and Development,
Covidien. "Through this partnership, we continue our dedication to
leading the discussion about prevention of infectious disease and
raising public awareness."
For more information on the Strike Out Infection campaign,
including cities and dates for local awareness events, visit
APIC's mission is to improve health and patient safety by reducing
risks of infection and other adverse outcomes. The Association's
nearly 12,000 members have primary responsibility for infection
prevention, control and hospital epidemiology in health care settings
around the globe. APIC advances its mission through education,
research, collaboration, practice guidance, public policy, and
credentialing. Visit APIC online at www.apic.org.
ABOUT COVIDIEN LTD.
Covidien is a leading global healthcare products company that
creates innovative medical solutions for better patient outcomes and
delivers value through clinical leadership and excellence. Covidien
manufactures, distributes and services a diverse range of
industry-leading product lines in five segments: Medical Devices,
Pharmaceutical Products, Imaging Solutions, Medical Supplies and
Retail Products. With 2007 revenue of $10 billion, Covidien has more
than 43,000 employees worldwide in 57 countries, and its products are
sold in over 130 countries. Please visit www.covidien.com to learn
more about our business.
(2) Jarvis, William R., Schlosser, JoAnn, Chinn, Raymond Y.,
Tweeten, Samantha, and Jackson, Marguerite, (2007). National
prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in
inpatients at US health care facilities, 2006. American Journal of
Infection Control, 2007; 35: 631-637.
CONTACT: David Young
Media Relations Manager, Covidien
SOURCE: Covidien Ltd.