NICU Newborns Test Positive for MRSA

Pennsylvania hospital implementing infection control procedures

July 8, 2019

Six newborns have contracted methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) at University of Pittsburg Medical Center Children’s Hospital, CNN reports. The MRSA infection, which also affected six hospital staff members, is linked to the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

MRSA bacteria cause drug-resistant staph infections that can lead to pneumonia, blood infections, sepsis, and even death. In health care facilities, MRSA is usually spread through contact with an infected wound or someone with contaminated hands. Patients can also become infected through contact with contaminated bed linens, bed rails, medical equipment, or other surfaces.

Hospital officials have put isolation protocols in place to help eliminate the spread of the disease and are ramping up infection control procedures, such as thorough cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces. As MRSA cannot be eliminated with soap and water, cleaning protocols usually involve the use of disinfecting products containing bleach, phenolic, and quaternary ammonium compounds (quats).

Health care-acquired infections (HAIs), including MRSA and C. difficile, sicken about 722,000 U.S. hospital patients each year and are responsible for approximately 75,000 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CMM offers various strategies on using an effective disinfectant to eliminate the pathogens that cause HAIs, such as:

  • Consider chemical dispensing units, which dispense the correct cleaning solution dilution every time.
  • Avoid using cotton mops or cloths with quats. Cotton is cellulosic and will deplete the efficacy of the solution.
  • Read cleaning solution labels carefully to verify which pathogens they kill and check their dwell time.

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