What We're Reading: Pediatric Antibiotic Resistance; Calif. Hospital Inspections; and Patient Advocacy Funding

Antibiotic Resistance Among Children on the Rise

More and more children who are hospitalized in the United States are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, aka “superbugs.” Newsweek reported that while instances of superbugs in children were only 1.5% of all infections in 2015, the proportion of these infections had been just 0.2% in 2007. In addition, these children mostly weren’t contracting the superbug in the hospital. The infection was already present in many of the children when they were admitted, which indicates more superbugs are in communities.

Stepping Up Inspections at Certain Hospitals

The California Department of Public Health will increase inspections at facilities with high patient infection rates. According to the Los Angeles Times, a nonprofit group had published a list of hospitals with high infection rates that had not been inspected in years. As a result, the state, which has been backed up on inspecting facilities, will prioritize hospitals based on how long it has been since the last review and the hospital’s own reported rate of infections.

Patient Advocacy Groups Receive Industry Funding

More than 80% of patient advocacy groups, tasked with representing the interests of patients, receive funding from drug and medical-device companies, reported The New York Times. In some cases, funding made up more than half of the group’s annual income, plus industry executives sit on the boards of 40% of groups. Patient groups are less transparent about conflicts of interest and can be vague when it comes to disclosing their donations, but they maintain that they are not influenced by their corporate donors.