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Survey Finds U.S. Healthcare Facilities Not Doing Enough to Curb MRSA
Date:12/11/2007

ious estimates had indicated. The report found that the antibiotic-resistant bacteria are found in all wards throughout most hospitals. See: http://journals.elsevierhealth.com/periodicals/ymic/article/PIIS01966553070 07729/abstract

In October, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that nearly 95,000 developed MRSA infections in 2005 and almost 19,000 people died. CDC research indicates that 85 percent of these infections are picked up by patients exposed to MRSA in hospitals and other healthcare settings, like nursing homes and dialysis centers.

APIC's most recent survey found that 41 percent of infection control professionals said their healthcare facility had not taken any new prevention measures since the MRSA prevalence study was published in June. Of these respondents, 19 percent said there were "no resources to change their approach" while 33 percent noted other reasons such as the "lack of support from hospital leadership, not enough staff and lack of time."

Of those who reported that not enough was being done to curb MRSA, most wanted their healthcare facilities to screen high-risk patients for MRSA, improve hand hygiene, and increase the use of gloves and gowns with patients who test positive for MRSA.

Many hospitals in northern Europe have used these strategies to successfully control MRSA for decades. A pilot program employing MRSA screening and additional precautions at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System in Pennsylvania in 2001 has reduced infections in the hospital's surgical unit by 70 percent. The program proved so successful that it is now being implemented in all VA hospitals nationwide.

Numerous studies have shown that this approach helps save money by preventing infections that would result in even higher costs for the patient and hospital. A recent analysis found that hospit
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SOURCE Consumers Union
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