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More States Move to Require Hospitals to Screen Patients for MRSA
Date:3/18/2008

New Research Shows MRSA Screening Results in Significantly Lower Infection

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AUSTIN, Texas, March 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Concerns about the rising incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections have prompted lawmakers in a number of states around the country to push hospitals to take more aggressive steps to prevent its spread. Three states have passed laws requiring hospitals to screen certain patients for MRSA upon admission and similar proposals have been introduced in Congress and in seven states and the District of Columbia.

The debate over the need for stricter MRSA prevention measures is heating up just as new research published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that universal screening can lead to dramatically lower infection rates. Researchers who evaluated a program at the Evanston Northwestern Healthcare found that universal screening for MRSA coupled with additional precautions for those who test positive resulted in an over 50 percent reduction in hospital-acquired MRSA infections throughout their three-hospital system. An abstract of the article is available at http://www.annals.org/

"We know that MRSA infections are all too common in hospitals across the country, but most hospitals are not doing enough to protect patients," said Lisa McGiffert, Director of Consumers Union's Stop Hospital Infections campaign (http://www.StopHospitalInfections.org). "Screening patients for MRSA is a critical part of an effective strategy to stem the alarming spread of these debilitating and sometimes deadly infections."

Consumers Union supports efforts by states to require MRSA screening coupled with special precautions for those found colonized with the bacteria to prevent the spread of infections. For more information, see:

SOURCE Consumers Union
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