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Study: Prevention strategy cuts MRSA rates

June 7, 2013

WASHINGTON — A new study published by the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrates the effectiveness of using antimicrobial soap and ointment on all intensive-care unit (ICU) patients to reduce the burden of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), according to a press release.

The study was first presented at IDWeek in October 2012, a joint annual meeting of leading infectious diseases organizations, and may lead to live-saving changes in prevention practices, the release stated.

According to the release, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) is encouraged by the findings and hopes the study will help inform and advance evidence-based infection prevention practices and policies.

"The results highlight that the widespread practice of active detection and isolation may not be the best answer to reducing the transmission of MRSA. The healthcare field must continue to look to rigorous, evidence-based research like this when considering infection prevention strategies," said Daniel Diekema, MD, president-elect of SHEA.

The findings could also reduce healthcare costs since a common state-mandated method of "screening and isolation" to fight MRSA in the ICU was shown to fall short in protecting patients, the release noted.

Click here to read the release in its entirety.