CDC Foundation Enhances Access to Information for Cancer Patients, Caregivers and Health Care Providers Seeking to Control Infections

Website empowers patients to know their risk for infection
Contact
Pierce Nelson, pnelson@cdcfoundation.org , 404.523.3509

October 21, 2013 – ATLANTA – In conjunction with International Infection Prevention Week, the CDC Foundation is launching an enhanced website for www.preventcancerinfections.org, an evidence-based, interactive resource targeted to assessing a cancer patient’s risk for developing a low white blood cell count and subsequent infections from chemotherapy. The site is part of the Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients program, which is celebrating its second anniversary this week.

International Infection Prevention Week, which began October 20 and is spearheaded by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), provides an opportunity to shine a light on infection prevention and its power to save lives. This is especially true for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy who are at an increased risk for getting infections due to their weakened immune systems. For these patients, any infection may be life threatening. It has been estimated that each year 60,000 cancer patients are hospitalized in the United States for chemotherapy-induced neutropenia. Among those hospitalized, one in 14 (or 4,100) will die from this complication.[i]

The Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients program was created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the CDC Foundation to help reduce infections in cancer patients. The program uses practical guidance and resources for patients, caregivers and healthcare providers about steps they can take to prevent infections. The program is made possible through a CDC Foundation partnership with, and funding from, Amgen.

“International Infection Prevention Week helps remind us that everyone plays a role in helping to prevent infections,” said Charles Stokes, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. “We applaud CDC for their efforts to help cancer patients stay as healthy as possible during their treatment and are grateful to the CDC Foundation’s funding partner Amgen for their support of this vital program.”

Some of the website’s enhanced features include:

  • An evidence-based, interactive online program designed to help assess a cancer patient’s risk for developing both a low white blood cell count during chemotherapy and subsequent infections.
  • A comprehensive set of program materials, including health tip sheets, posters, fact sheets, postcards and videos aimed at patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals.

The program also provides tools and resources for clinicians. These resources can be downloaded, viewed, copied and distributed without alteration. A few of these resources include:

  • A Basic Infection Control and Prevention Plan for Outpatient Oncology Settings. This plan includes key policies and procedures that will ensure a facility meets or exceeds minimal expectations of patient safety. (Pub #22-1028)
  • Poster stressing the importance of cancer patients getting a flu shot: Cancer is a fight. Don’t let the flu knock you down. (Pub #22-1463)
  • Postcard stressing the importance of cancer patients getting a flu shot: Cancer is a fight. Don’t let the flu knock you down. (Pub #22-1462)

Order copies of these materials

About the CDC Foundation
Established by Congress, the CDC Foundation helps the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do more, faster, by forging effective partnerships between CDC and corporations, foundations and individuals to support CDC’s 24/7 work to fight threats to health and safety. The CDC Foundation manages approximately 200 CDC-led programs in the United States and in 58 countries around the world. Learn more at www.cdcfoundation.org.

About CDC’s Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients Program
Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients is a public health campaign led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the CDC Foundation to raise awareness among patients, caregivers and healthcare providers about steps they can take to prevent infections during cancer chemotherapy treatment. The campaign aims to reduce infections in cancer patients.

PreventCancerInfections.org is an evidence-based, interactive online program designed to help assess a cancer patient’s risk for developing both a low white blood cell count during chemotherapy and subsequent infections.

For more information about International Infection Prevention Week: www.consumers.site.apic.org

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[i] Caggiano V, et all. Cancer. 2005; 103: 1916-1924.