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Dorset County Hospital Enhances MRSA Surveillance Programme Through Rapid Patient Screening
Date:11/4/2008

Dorset County Hospital screens elective and Orthopaedic admissions patients in only 75 minutes using Cepheid's advanced Xpert(TM) MRSA technology

DORSET, England, Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Dorset County Hospital (DCH) is working hard to reduce MRSA infections and, as part of that plan, has introduced enhanced MRSA surveillance. As part of the programme, DCH is screening all elective and orthopaedic admissions for MRSA. Screening enables hospitals to identify patients who carry the bacteria on their skin or nasal passages, i.e. colonised patients. This is important because MRSA bacteria can be easily transmitted from patient to patient and can lead to serious infections. Previously, screening technology took at least 24 hours by a process of growing the bacteria on culture plates. The Xpert(TM) MRSA test, which runs on Cepheid's GeneXpert(R) System, delivers DNA-based results in 75 minutes. This new rapid technology means DCH has enough time to identify colonised patients and make immediate decisions based on patient needs.

Dorset's MRSA Surveillance Programme includes:

-- Pre-surgical screening of all elective and orthopaedic admissions

-- Isolation of positive patients

-- Appropriate treatment for colonised patients prior to and during

surgery

Alison Tong, Director of Nursing and Infection Prevention and Control, says, "We are always looking for new ways to further prevent infection and improve patient care. Xpert MRSA rapid screening technology will vastly reduce the risks to patients admitted to Dorset County Hospital and I hope will provide further reassurance to the public that we are continually striving to minimise all risks to patients. It is so easy-to-use that we are now considering training non-laboratory technical staff to undertake some screening."

It has been estimated that about 5 in 100 people carry MRSA bacteria on their skin. In fact, the Health Protection Agency reported 1,805 infec
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SOURCE Dorset County Hospital
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