Many Hospitals Don't Screen for MRSA

CHICAGO, Aug. 23 (UPI) — Less than half of U.S. hospitals screen for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a strain of bacteria resistant to antibiotics, researchers say.

Yoojung Yang, a fellow at the University of Illinois at Chicago, says 43 percent of the 102 U.S. hospitals responding to a survey have a procedure in place to screen patients for MRSA.

Yang explains prevention is the best treatment for MRSA — a staph infection in healthcare patients caused by a strain of bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

Yang and colleagues say their survey indicates nearly all of the responding hospitals have adopted hand-hygiene practices. Some have also adopted other preventive practices such as using gowns and gloves and isolating MRSA-positive patients.

Nearly 75 percent of the surveyed hospitals also fight MRSA by reviewing prescriptions orders. More than half place restrictions on the use of select anti-microbials — especially newer drugs such linezolid, daptomycin and tigecycline — to maintain optimal use and to reduce the risk of bacterial resistance.

“The results of our survey suggest that pharmacists play a key role in the treatment of MRSA infections, because they have the knowledge of how best anti-microbials can be used,” Yang said in a statement.

The findings are published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacist.

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