Author Archives: mdjkf

Auto-immune encephalitis unpacked: great recent presentation

Guest posting: Dr Thérèse Boyle, Immunology Advanced Trainee Registrar, Health Pathology NSW.  Anti-NMDARE (003) Boyle 2018 Take home messages- Autoimmune encephalitis is divided into 2 main categories; classic onco-neuronal encephalitis that is generally paraneoplastic, and limbic encephalitis of which anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis is one of the most common forms. Autoantibodies within these categories can causes […]

New antibiotics on the (near) horizon – a report from Josh Davis from recent USA ID Week

Guest posting: Assoc. Prof. Josh Davis, President, Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases. @Guru_JoshD “ID week” is a large US infectious diseases conference; this year it was in San Francisco, and had over 8,000 delegates. The most talked about trial at this conference (mentioned in at least 5 different sessions) was the Australian-led MERINO trial, an […]

Antibiotic awareness week 2018 – what antibiotic are you??

What antibiotic are you?  Take this short quiz !   Above items are from Kristi Kozierowski (AMS Pharmacist at John Hunter Hospital). Thanks Kristi!  Key Messages (Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Healthcare) Antibiotics are a precious resource that could be lost. Antibiotic resistance is happening now – it is a worldwide problem that affects human […]

Acute rheumatic fever and heart disease in regional NSW: risk, rates and recognition

Guest posting: Peter Massey and Julie Kohlhagen, Hunter New England Population Health.  Much of the media and health service attention on Acute Rheumatic Fever (ARF) & Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) are rightly focused on the top end and desert communities in Australia. In a prospective screening survey of RHD in northern Australia Roberts et al […]

Smartphone website for local guidelines including pneumonia (HNELHD)

The  Quality Use of Medicines smartphone-enabled website has been updated to include changes to hospital acquired pneumonia guidelines. With this site, you are only three clicks away from a treatment recommendation!  See below for the range of guidelines available. Note that whilst Therapeutic Guidelines: Antibiotic remains the main resource, HNE guidelines, where approved, take precedence- […]

Blood culture surveillance (Pathology North)- contamination and double set culture rates

Contamination (e.g. with Coagulase negative staphylococci) Across the HNE LHD, the blood culture contamination rate was 2.3% (range 1.2-4.6%) which was satisfactory (below 3%). This is the current list of potential contaminant organisms (HNELHD) NHSN potential contaminant species list augmented by Pathology North: for a positive culture (any principal source) with one of these species […]

2017 Cumulative Antibiograms are released – HNE, MNC and Northern NSW

Cumulative antibiograms provide a summary of current bacterial antimicrobial susceptibility for key pathogens in urine and non-urine specimens.  Treatment recommendations based on Therapeutic Guidelines, Antibiotic, Edition 15, 2014 are included in the commentaries. These are prepared by Pathology North, Microbiology for Hunter, New England, Northern NSW and Lower Mid-north coast regions. The detailed antibiogram reports are […]

Inducing ceftriaxone-deficiency in hospitals: practical stewardship insights

Originally posted on AIMED – Let's talk about antibiotics:
2018 update! Just as relevant. Upside – Ceftriaxone and cefotaxime (third generation cephalosporins-TGC) are amongst the most important agents for directed therapy of infections due to Gram negative organisms that are resistant to ampicillin or cephazolin (a first generation cephalosporin),  including Klebsiella pneumoniae .  They penetrate the CSF…

Acute piperacillin+tazobactam shortage – important advice – JHH and HNELHD

Currently (still in Feb 2018) there is a worldwide shortage of piperacillin+tazobactam , an additional issue to the shortage earlier in 2017 . Appropriate substitutions – see – HNELHD advice (November 2017)  JHH_Pip_Taz_Fact_Sheet_Oct_2017 . This includes new dosage recommendations for IV amox+clavulanate for intra-abdominal infection (6 -hrly rather than 8- hrly dosing). For further advice, please contact the […]

Bacterial cultures, respiratory virus/bacterial PCR and infection control screen cultures- collection guides with new Floqswab kits

Health Pathology, NSW (Northern Sector) has recently switched all swab types to a ‘Floqswab‘ (flocked) that is of proven superiority for collecting specimen material. In conjunction with this, the collection kits have a container with liquid transport media rather than a gel. Some kits require the swab to be broken off into the medium before […]