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Preliminary Data From Pitt County Memorial Hospital Study Show Benefit of Active Surveillance on Reducing MRSA VAP Rates in Surgical ICU
Date:4/6/2008

an important cause of VAP in the ICU, and can cause longer hospital stays and a high mortality rate. According to a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory Critical Care Medicine, the mortality rate for VAP ranges from 24 percent to 50 percent and can reach 76 percent in some settings or when lung infection is caused by high-risk pathogens. ICU ventilated patients with VAP have been reported to have a two- to 10-fold higher risk of death compared with patients without pneumonia. In addition to having a high mortality rate, MRSA VAP is also associated with an increased utilization of resources, including longer ventilator dependence and excess costs of approximately $8,000.

In a separate study comparing VAP due to MRSA or methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA), mortality was found to be directly attributable to pneumonia for 86 percent of the MRSA patients and 12 percent in the MSSA patients, with a relative risk of death equal to 20.7 for MRSA pneumonia.

These study results add to a growing body of data released over the past few years demonstrating the impact of active patient surveillance for MRSA, coupled with a comprehensive infection prevention program to reduce MRSA infections.

MRSA bacteria can cause a potentially fatal infection that does not respond to commonly used antibiotics and is a significant cause of healthcare- associated infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that approximately 126,000 people are hospitalized each year with MRSA infections and about 19,000 die, with an estimated annual cost of $3.2 billion to $4.2 billion to U.S. hospitals.

PCMH, located in Greenville, NC, serves a rural population in 29 counties. The SICU-data represent a subset of a wider study conducted by PCMH over the past year, which looks at the impact of a hospital-wide, all-admission surveillance, the data for which is being compiled for future release.

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