Even Impeccable Handwashing Can't Stop MRSA
A recent study from Drexel University in Philadelphia suggests methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can spread in a sterile environment even when hospital workers follow handwashing guidelines as closely as possible. MRSA is a dangerous bacterial infection that is difficult to treat because it is resistant to commonly used antibiotics.
For the study, researchers focused on hygiene and transmission of MRSA among hospital staff members who have contact with the newborn babies in the neonatal intensive care unit of a Delaware hospital. They found that following handwashing guidelines did not eliminate MRSA transmission, but it did reduce the spread of the infection by 86 percent.
Preventing infections in hospitals is complex and requires a multi-faceted approach to help reduce the spread of such infections. Improved compliance with hygiene guidelines in hospital workers and visitors, and better antimicrobial management, perhaps involving prophylactic treatment and early detection, may help.