Navigation Links
Universal Screening for MRSA in Hospitals Made Little Difference

Swiss study found standard infection control was just as effective

TUESDAY, March 11 (HealthDay News) -- Universal screening for a common antibiotic-resistant bacteria is no better than standard infection control at reducing the rate of hospital-acquired infections in surgical patients, new Swiss research shows.

The bacteria, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), is an increasing public health concern.

But there is still hope, said study author Dr. Stephan Harbarth, attending physician in infectious diseases and associate hospital epidemiologist at University of Geneva Hospitals and Medical School in Geneva, noting that there has been an "unprecedented" decline of MRSA rates in several European countries and a stable, relatively low rate in others.

"Clearly, these recent findings suggest that MRSA spread can be curbed in hospitals, provided that active control programs are implemented," he continued. "For instance, following the introduction of specific programs for limiting cross-transmission, first at regional level and subsequently at national level, MRSA infection rates decreased by almost 50 percent between 1993 and 2006 in hospitals of the Paris region, and by 20 percent since 2001 in more than 50 hospitals across France."

Still, Harbarth cautioned, "this needs strong public health action, something not to be expected under the current federal administration of the U.S."

The findings are in the March 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Hospital-acquired and community-acquired MRSA infections have become a major public health challenge. The bacterium can lead to skin and blood infections and pneumonia.

According to a related editorial in the same issue of the journal, one-quarter of U.S. hospitals reported at least one MRSA outbreak in the prior year. And an estimated 18,000 or more deaths could be attributable to invasive MRSA infections in the United States in 2005. More than 4 million individuals in the United States may be carriers of the pathogen, and as many as 1.2 million U.S. hospital patients may be infected each year with MRSA.

Although medical experts and policymakers have called for universal screening at hospitals, no trial has looked into the matter.

This study, conducted between July 2004 and May 2006, involved 21,754 surgical patients at a Swiss teaching hospital. Researchers compared two control strategies for MRSA: rapid screening upon hospital admission plus standard infection control measures versus standard infection control measures only.

Patients on 12 surgical wards with different specialties were assigned to one group for nine months then switched to the other for another nine months.

The rate of surgical-site infections and hospital-acquired infections did not differ drastically between the two groups. The authors estimated that 30 patients would have to be screened at admission to detect one previously unidentified MRSA carrier.

One future option might be to target screening to surgical patients undergoing elective procedures with a higher risk of MRSA infection, the authors stated.

The study raises another important issue about the distinction between community-acquired and hospital-acquired infection, and whether universal screening might be more effective in the future.

"If you do screening on admission in the future, will it start to make a difference to MRSA transmission in the medical setting if the distinction continues to break down?" asked Philip Alcabes, an associate professor of urban public health at Hunter College School of Health Sciences in New York City. "That remains a question worth asking."

And existing procedures are nothing to scoff at in terms of effectiveness. "Standard infection control procedures do seem to work," said Alcabes. "It's a good idea, and that, in some ways, may be the most fundamental message. Don't forget routine infection control."

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on MRSA.

SOURCES: Stephan Harbarth, M.D., M.S., senior registrar, senior lecturer, attending in infectious diseases and associate hospital epidemiologist, University of Geneva Hospitals and Medical School, Geneva, Switzerland; Philip Alcabes, Ph.D., associate professor, urban public health, Hunter College School of Health Sciences, New York City; March 12, 2008, Journal of the American Medical Association

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Universal Health Realty Income Trust Announces Dividend
2. Gentiva(R) Health Services Files Universal Shelf Registration Statement
3. Universal Health Care Coverage in the United States
4. New report: private/public insurance mix is most practical way to achieve universal coverage
5. Universal Health Services, Inc. Reports 2007 Third Quarter Earnings
6. Forum Highlights Role of Private Sector in Achieving Universal Health Coverage in Europe
7. Universal Health Services, Inc. Announces Dividend
8. Internists Diagnose Health Care System Ills, Prescribe Remedies to Achieve Universal Coverage, Better Quality, and Lower Costs
9. Internists diagnose health-care system ills, show how to achieve universal coverage
10. Universal Health Services, Inc. Announces Share Repurchase Authorization
11. Universal Health Services, Inc. Announces Dividend
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Universal Screening for MRSA in Hospitals Made Little Difference
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... World Patent Marketing ... Jar, a container patent that allows for easier packing and organizing of items into ... worth $90 billion," says Scott Cooper, CEO and Creative Director of World Patent Marketing ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... ... Tampa is the first health care provider in the region to offer the vBloc® ... a vagal blocking therapy, delivered via the Maestro® System, for the treatment of adult patients ... 40 to 45 kg, or a BMI of at least 35 to 39.9 kg with ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... ... Dr. Paul Vitenas, one of the top cosmetic surgeons in Texas ... the Best Single Physician Practice in the nation. Dr. Vitenas and his practice were ... the industry publication. , Dr. Vitenas said he was very honored to receive ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... the 7th Annual 2015 Golden Bridge Business Awards under the New Products and ... zero capex web based sample management software that helps labs organize ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... facilities, radiographic technicians must mark the film for accurate interpretation by the radiologist. ... of. Fortunately, an inventor from Sacramento, Calif., has found a way to alleviate ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... -- CytRx Corporation (NASDAQ: CYTR ), a biopharmaceutical ... that it has reached its enrollment target of 400 ... trial of aldoxorubicin in patients with previously treated soft ... in Q1 2016. The Phase 3 trial is a randomized, ... from the FDA at 79 sites in ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 1, 2015   Craneware, Inc ., the ... today announced the company will showcase a new ... ® solution at the American Society for ... . The new features are focused on simplifying ... and managing enterprise-wide pharmacy charges to ensure compliance ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Germany , December 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... leading global manufacturer of eye and gaze tracking solutions, ... SMI remote eye trackers as a component of its ... concussions, eye sight, and medical and performance issues in ... part of SMI,s mass-market-ready eye tracking platform, which is ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: