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Soap and Water May not be Enough to Fight MRSA Superbug

Navy, The Citadel Are Among The Organizations Advocating Use of Hand

Cleansers With CHG for Ongoing Prevention and Protection

NORCROSS, Ga., Nov. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Headlines call MRSA (methicillin- resistant Staphylococcus aureus) deadlier than AIDS, and the media continue to report daily on recent school closings and, in the most extreme cases, student deaths due to this drug-resistant staph infection*. Even though hand-washing is advocated as one of the best means of preventing a MRSA-related skin infection, simply using soap and water may not be enough for people in high- risk environments.

"Today's high-risk environment is not limited to health care facilities, but anywhere people share close quarters such as schools, day care centers, athletic teams, gyms and correctional facilities," said Carolyn Twomey, RN, vice president of clinical and technical affairs, Molnlycke Health Care US. "Washing your hands with soap and water may be enough for some people. However, for individuals exposed to high-risk environments, the spread of MRSA can simply occur through touching contaminated objects or surfaces and skin- to-skin contact. In these situations, an antimicrobial soap containing chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) kills MRSA and other staph infections and provides a protective barrier that keeps killing germs for a period of time after washing. It helps prevent individuals from unknowingly carrying MRSA to family members and loved ones."

Known as community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA), this strain of staph infection is found in individuals who have NOT been hospitalized or undergone a medical procedure within the past 12 months.(1) Outbreaks of CA-MRSA have been documented for more than 20 years(2), but recent reports indicate infections from this strain of staph are on the rise. MRSA and Staphylococcus aureus are germs that live on the skin of healthy people and spread from person to person via contaminated hands, skin and surfaces. It has the potential to become life threatening when it enters the body through scrapes and scratches, potentially leading to blood and joint infections, pneumonia and even death.

A key to prevention of a MRSA infection is keeping hands clean to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. However, many of the products used by consumers do not contain antimicrobial agents that provide extended antimicrobial action. They may not kill MRSA on contact and provide up to six hours of residual, or ongoing protection, such as CHG found in the cleanser Hibiclens(R) and convenient Hibistat(R) Germicidal Towelettes, according to Twomey.

Residual activity works when the antimicrobial remains active on the skin for a period of time after use. For hand cleansers, this means the antimicrobial continues to kill germs for an extended period of time after washing. Alcohol is a common hand antiseptic and is extremely effective for immediate kill. However, when alcohol dries, the germ-killing action stops. The next contaminated object touched will recontaminate the hand.

Containing CHG, both Hibiclens and Hibistat have been proven to provide fast-acting, antimicrobial protection. They kill a broad spectrum of harmful organisms, continuing to fight germs much longer than soap and water or

alcohol alone. Hibistat Towelettes work without water and contain a quick- drying formula with added emollients, making them safe for frequent daily use.

The Citadel, a well-known military college in Charleston, S.C., has been successfully using Hibiclens for more than 10 years in its Sports Medicine Department to lessen the severity of infections and help prevent the spread of germs such as those associated with MRSA and other staph-related bacteria. The Navy Environmental Health Center(3) also recommends the use of CHG in prevention of MRSA.

"We found that Hibiclens helps prevent the severity of MRSA-related infections, if caught in the early stages," said Craig Clark, The Citadel's assistant director of Sports Medicine. "We've made Hibiclens part of our regular wound treatment program, using it for everything from abscesses to ingrown toenails. Our department also uses Hibiclens as their regular hand wash instead of soap and water, and I can safely say we have not had a single staff member contract MRSA to date."

Hibiclens and Hibistat Towelettes are available in the first aid sections at chain drug stores and pharmacies located in discount retailers.

About Molnlycke Health Care US, LLC

Molnlycke Health Care US, LLC, consists of two divisions -- Surgical and Wound Care. Focusing on prevention of surgically-related infections for both patients and healthcare workers, the Surgical Division (formerly Regent Medical Americas, LLC) encompasses the world's leading manufacturer and supplier of powder-free surgical gloves (Biogel(R) surgical gloves); the number one supplier (by value) of skin cleanser (Hibiclens(R) and Hibistat(R) antiseptics); and BARRIER(R) protective clothing. A leader in trauma and pain management, the Wound Care Division's market dynamics are driven by an aging population, higher incidence of pressure ulcers and increased home treatment.

* Schools closed in Aurora, Il, Joliet, Il, Clawson, Mi, Pike County,

Kty, Washington, DC, Delaware

(1) Bell, Edward A. "Antibiotic Choices for CA-MRSA Infections."

Infectious Disease News. March 2007.

(2) Bell, Edward A. "Treatment Options Exist for CA-MRSA Infection."

Infectious Disease News. November 2005.

(3) Navy Environmental Health Center, "Guidelines for the Management of

Community-Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-

MRSA) Infections in the US Navy and Marine Corps," August 2006.

SOURCE Molnlycke Health Care US, LLC
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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