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

Where Ebola battles are won

7 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Four hospitals that are home to advanced biocontainment facilities have become America's ground zero in the treatment of Ebola patients.

Depression tied to worse lumbar spine surgery outcomes

9 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Depressive symptoms are associated with poorer long-term outcome in patients undergoing surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), according to research published in the Oct. 1 issue of The Sp ...

Ebola death toll edging to 4,900 mark: WHO

10 hours ago

The death toll in the world's worst-ever Ebola outbreak has edged closer to 4,900, while almost 10,000 people have now been infected, new figures from the World Health Organization showed Wednesday.

US to track everyone coming from Ebola nations

10 hours ago

U.S. authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the U.S. from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. That includes returning American aid workers, federal health employees ...

User comments