Donning gloves and gowns for all patient contact in intensive care units reduced infections of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) by 40% compared with care under federal guidelines in a recent study. Government guidelines call for wearing gloves and gowns only with patients with known antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Additionally, while having healthcare personnel take the time to glove and gown did result in fewer times that they attended to patients, it did not result in a rise in adverse events, such as patient falls or pressure ulcers.
Those are conclusions from a multi-state randomized trial of 20 medical and surgical ICUs and 26,180 patients. The researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine attempted to answer the question of whether gloved and gowned personnel actually reduce the most troublesome types of hospital-acquired infections.
"If an intensive care unit or hospital administrator is concerned about the risk of healthcare-associated MRSA infection, I think this shows that the intervention works with no adverse events," says Anthony Harris, MD, the lead author of the multi-center trial.