New studies attempt to beat MRSA
March 23, 2009
SAN DIEGO, CA — Three studies presented to the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) at their annual meeting suggest that Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) can be beaten, according to the U.S. News and World Report.
In the first report, Dr. Philip Polgreen, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Iowa, spoke of a wireless computerized system that monitors staff to ensure that they wash their hands before entering an intensive care unit, the story stated.
Polgreen said: "Hand washing is one of the most important actions health care workers can take to protect patients from developing hospital-acquired infections. Yet hand hygiene compliance among physicians, nurses and other health care workers remains unacceptably low."
In the second report, a team led by Rupak Datta, an M.D./Ph.D. candidate at the University of California at Irvine, found that 40 percent of MRSA and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infections are transmitted by touching nearby surfaces, and that cleaning with disinfectant-saturated cloths rather than spray bottles is more effective, the story noted.
Datta said: "This suggests that cleaning measures over and above national standards can be important in reducing the transmission of multi-drug-resistant organisms, such as MRSA and VRE in high-risk patient care areas, such as the ICU."
In the third report, Dr. Susan S. Huang, director of epidemiology and infection prevention at the University of California at Irvine School of Medicine, suggests that transfering patients from one room to another increases the risk of spreading HAIs to other parts of the facility, the story added.
Huang said: "We found that 22 percent of patients will be rehospitalized within a year of discharge. Most are readmitted to different hospitals than the one where they were initially treated. In an average month, each hospital exposed other hospitals to 10 of their patients."
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