MRSA declines are sustained in veterans hospitals nationwide

Five years after implementing a national initiative to reduce methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) rates in Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers, MRSA cases have continued to decline, according to a study in the November issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

The MRSA Prevention Initiative, implemented in 2007, resulted in significant decreases in both the transmission (colonization with the organism) of MRSA (17 percent for intensive care units [ICUs] and 21 percent for non-ICUs) and healthcare-associated infection (HAI) rates within the hospitals (62 percent for ICUs, 45 percent for non-ICUs). In the two-year period following the first wave of the initiative (data previously published ), both MRSA transmissions and HAIs continued to decrease in non-ICU settings (declining an additional 13.7 percent and 44.8 percent, respectively), while holding steady in ICUs.

The MRSA Prevention Initiative utilizes a bundled approach that includes screening every patient for MRSA, use of gowns and gloves when caring for patients colonized or infected with MRSA, hand hygiene, and an institutional culture change focusing on individual responsibility for . It also created the new position of MRSA Prevention Coordinator at each medical center.

"The analysis…shows that over the ensuing 24 months, MRSA transmission and MRSA HAI rates continued to decrease nationwide," state the authors. "Detailed analysis showed that there were statistically significant declines in MRSA transmissions and MRSA HAIs in non-ICUs but not in the ICUs. The absence of statistically significant trends in the ICUs may be because MRSA transmission and MRSA HAI rates were low."

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterium that is resistant to many antibiotics and an important cause of illness and sometimes death. In medical facilities, MRSA causes life-threatening bloodstream infections, pneumonia and surgical site infections. In the community, most MRSA infections are skin infections.

More information: Jain R, Kralovic SM, Evans ME, Ambrose M, Simbartl LA, Obrosky DS, et al. Veterans Affairs initiative to prevent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections. N Engl J Med 2011;364:1419-30.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Copious community-associated MRSA in nursing homes

Oct 24, 2013

More than one quarter of residents of 26 nursing homes in Orange County, California carry community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which spread more easily, and may cause more severe infect ...

Pediatric musculoskeletal MRSA infections on the rise

Oct 26, 2013

Pediatric musculoskeletal Staphylococcus aureus bacterial infections have been evolving over the past decade, with more children diagnosed with the more virulent, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) today ...

MRSA colonization in groin tied to clinical infections

Mar 26, 2013

(HealthDay)—Groin colonization of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) leads to an increased risk of developing active MRSA infection later among HIV-infected patients, according to a stud ...

Recommended for you

In the battle against Ebola, a double-layer solution

1 hour ago

When working with Ebola patients, protective gear works, but removing it can be harrowing. Seeking to protect health care workers from the precarious nature of taking off soiled gloves, Cornell students have ...

New hope for rare disease drug development

12 hours ago

Using combinations of well-known approved drugs has for the first time been shown to be potentially safe in treating a rare disease, according to the results of a clinical trial published in the open access Orphanet Journal of ...

Three weeks since last Ebola case in Mali: WHO

15 hours ago

Mali has not had a case of Ebola for three weeks, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, completing one of the two incubation periods the country needs to be declared free of the virus.

Migraine may double risk for facial paralysis

16 hours ago

Migraine headache may double the risk of a nervous system condition that causes facial paralysis, called Bell's palsy, according to a new study published in the December 17, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journa ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.