The number of nosocomial methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, infections was not reduced in a surgical setting despite large-scale screening, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Overall, a universal screening strategy did not reduce MRSA infection, reported the authors in Universal Screening for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus at Hospital Admission and Nosocomial Infection in Surgical Patients, published in the March 12 issue of JAMA.
Researchers conducted a study that involved 21,754 surgical patients admitted for more than 24 hours at a Swiss teaching hospital. The study had a control group that received a typical infection-control protocol and an intervention group that received a MRSA screen in addition to other clinical-infection practices. During the intervention period, 10,193 patients received the additional MRSA screening.
A total of 93 patients, or 1.11 per 1,000 patient days, developed nosocomial MRSA during the intervention period, compared with 76 patients who developed the infection in the control period, the authors reported. When factoring in other infection-control practices, the main outcome for the patients in both groups was virtually unchanged, the authors said. Surgical services and infection-control teams should carefully assess their local MRSA epidemiology and patient profiles before introducing a universal screening policy, according to the report. -- by Jean DerGurahian
What do you think? Post a comment on this article and share your opinion with other readers. Submit your letter to Modern Healthcare Online at [email protected]. Please be sure to include your hometown and state, along with your organization and title.