SEATTLE — Under a proposed law that unanimously passed the Washington State Senate
on Monday and now awaits the governor''s signature, all hospitals in the state must screen high-risk patients for the potentially fatal infection Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
(MRSA), according to the Seattle Times
According to the story, the bill, ESHB 1123
, passed the House 97-0 on March 9, and was approved by the Senate 45-0.
Representative Thomas Campbell said: "People are dying, and we have to take action. I think that''s why you''re seeing unanimous votes in the House and the Senate."
Screening is quick, painless and inexpensive; the nasal swab test costs about $20, the story stated.
The proposed law would require hospitals to adopt a MRSA screening policy by January 1, 2010, and would require hospitals to notify patients of a MRSA diagnosis and provide education on treatment and prevention, the story noted.
Washington hopes to become one of only five states that mandate MRSA screenings; California, Illinois, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have already adopted mandated screenings, the story added.