Handwashing may be best way to fight MRSA

March 31st, 2009 - 1:16 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Mar 31 (ANI): Regular handwashing by hospital staff and visitors could be more effective at controlling the spread of the hospital superbug MRSA than isolating infected patients, according to a new study.

Dr Peter Wilson from University College Hospital, London, conducted a year-long study in two hospital intensive care units.

In the middle six months of the year patients with MRSA were not moved to single rooms or nursed in separate MRSA bays.

The rates of cross infection with MRSA were compared to the periods when patients were moved.

Patients were tested for MRSA weekly and hand hygiene by staff and visitors audited and encouraged.

Wilson said that there was no evidence of increased transmission of infection when patients were not moved.

Moving seriously-ill patients when they are identified as having MRSA can be hazardous and it involves ward staff in extra hygiene measures.

“If a patient carrying MRSA is critically ill, moving them to a single room is less of a priority than clinical care,” said Dr Wilson.

“If the criteria are strictly applied, compliance with hand hygiene practices on intensive care units is less than on a general ward because of the very high number of contacts per hour. Another study is needed in a general ward where a high level of compliance with hand hygiene is easier to achieve,” he added.

The research has been presented at the Society for General Microbiology meeting in Harrogate. (ANI)

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