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MRSA in NUH

Healthcare-associated infections are infections that patients acquire while receiving treatment in the healthcare setting. There are a number of factors that can increase the risk of acquiring infection, but good infection control practices and standards can minimise the risk.

 

What is MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)?

Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria are commonly carried on the skin or in the nose of healthy people without causing any symptoms of illness. Some staph bacteria are resistant to antibiotics.

MRSA is a type of staph that is resistant to certain antibiotics. These antibiotics include cloxacillin which is traditionally the most useful and our first choice. Staph is transmitted primarily through direct person-to-person contact, especially via contaminated hands. While MRSA and all staph can cause illness in patients in healthcare facilities, such infections also occur outside of hospitals because of widespread antibiotic use.

NUH is committed to helping all p atients receive the best and safest care during their stay. This includes a specific focus on preventing MRSA infection. This starts with preventing spread from patient to patient via the hands of staff.

 

What is NUH doing about MRSA?

NUH conducts MRSA surveillance to monitor healthcare-associated MRSA transmission, which in its early stages is asymptomatic. We report, manage and monitor MRSA incidence in our commitment to provide the best and safest care to our patients.

Our hospital develops and promotes evidence-based infection control strategies to reduce transmission of healthcare-associated MRSA through prevention projects. These projects target various patient populations, which include patients from the orthopaedic and surgical disciplines, as well as the intensive care units (ICUs). We aim to roll out these successful initiatives throughout the hospital.

 

Chart 1 : MRSA Acquisition Rate In Ortho Wards

 Acquisition Rate refers to the % of patients in the month admitted to this ward without MRSA yet became colonised or infected as inpatients.

 

Chart 2: MRSA Acquisition Rate In ICUs


Acquisition Rate refers to the % of patients in the month admitted to this ward without MRSA yet became colonised or infected as inpatients. For Ward 24(NNU), Acquisition Rate is obtained by weekly surveillance of MRSA negative neonates. It is assumed that all are negative on admission.

The project has shown a reduction of healthcare-associated MRSA infections in orthopaedic patients in Ward 51 and progress towards an overall reduction of healthcare-associated MRSA transmission in ICUs. In January 2008, we rolled out the project, including active screening of patients to five more wards.

 

Chart 3: MRSA Acquisition Rate In General Wards

Acquisition Rate refers to the % of patients in the month admitted to this ward without MRSA yet became colonised or infected as inpatients.

 

References:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2007). MRSA in Healthcare Settings. Retrieved Jan, 2008, from http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/ar_MRSA_spotlight_2006.html
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2007). Healthcare-Associated Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (HA-MRSA). Retrieved Jan, 2008, from http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/ar_mrsa.html
  3. Committee on Infectious Diseases 2004-2006. (2006). Red Book, 2nd. edn, American Academy of Pediatrics, United States of America.
  4. Health Protection Agency (2008). Healthcare Associated Infections. Retrieved Jan, 2008, from http://www.hpa.org.uk/infections/topics_az/hai/default.htm

 

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