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E. coli infection: how every nurse can help prevent it

The Gram-negative bacteria is a growing threat in community and acute settings
E. coli bacteria occur naturally within the human body Picture: iStock

The Gram-negative bacteria is a growing threat in community and acute settings

  • Cases of E. coli are rising, with 77.7 cases per 100,000 population in England in 2018-19
  • E. coli occurs naturally in our bodies, but is dangerous when it moves out of the gut and into the bloodstream or urinary tract
  • Hydration and monitoring of indwelling devices play an important role in preventing E. coli infection

The healthcare-associated infections meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile hit the headlines 15 years ago. With these bugs threatening the lives of patients, ambitious government targets and a focus on hygiene and infection prevention in hospitals led to significant reductions in the number of cases.

Today, MRSA and C. difficile are still with us – although the threat

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