Hospital MRSA Infection Rates Plunge 28%

Cheryl Clark, August 11, 2010

Invasive, hospital-onset methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections decreased "dramatically and significantly" by 9.4% per year from 2005 to 2008, a Journal of the American Medical Association report says.

Additionally, there was a 5.7% decrease per year in the incidence of healthcare-associated or community-onset MRSA infections, (infections in patients who had symptom onset outside the hospital but who had recently been admitted or had been an outpatient).This is the first study of its kind to reflect MRSA findings among outpatients who may have acquired their infections in healthcare settings.

This translates to a 28% decrease in hospital-onset invasive MRSA infections and about a 17% decrease in invasive healthcare-associated or community-onset infections over the period studied.

For the study, JAMA collected lab reports from nine diverse metro areas representing 15 million people.

In all measures, the authors wrote, use of prevention strategies shows that the national priority to reduce these infections has been a success, although "more challenges remain. Increasing adherence to existing recommendations and addressing MRSA transmission and prevention beyond inpatient settings" require further effort.

The report was published in Tuesday's edition of JAMA by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in collaboration with other investigators in nine states: Georgia, Connecticut, Colorado, California, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, and Tennessee.

"Our findings complement those from several smaller studies of infection prevention interventions, which demonstrate decreases in MRSA infections at individual or small collections of facilities," the authors wrote. In England, hospitals reduced MRSA infections from 2003 to 2008 by 57% after a UK Department of Health set a goal to reduce them by half.

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