Kentucky House Committee Warned About Effects Of Drug Resistant Bacteria

Jan 9, 2014

The Kentucky House Health and Welfare Committee heard testimony on the problem of nosocomial, or healthcare associated, infections Thursday.

Dr. Kevin Kavanagh told the lawmakers that better guidelines are needed to ensure that hospitals and nursing homes are properly and handling and reporting cases of MRSA and other drug resistant bacteria at their facilities. He said an outbreak could have dramatic consequences, both in lives and dollars.

"So, for example the University of Kentucky. $1 billion of planned expansion. You could argue that that is potentially placed at risk by these organisms if indeed a facility becomes contaminated and it cannot become clean," he argued.

Kavanagh pointed to a rising number of cases across the country. He warned that a clearly coordinated regional effort is needed to combat the spread of the bacteria whenever it is discovered.

Several representatives expressed doubts that more regulations would solve the problem. Rep. Robert Benvenuti argued that the current rules need to be clarified and any healthcare facility found in violation needs to be held accountable.