In a single-site study, nasal samples from 15% of ED workers tested positive for MRSA.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in institutionalized patients, and community-acquired MRSA is now the most common cause of purulent skin and soft-tissue infections in adults. Healthcare workers colonized with MRSA can transmit it to patients and colleagues as well as develop clinical infections themselves. In a prospective cohort study, researchers assessed MRSA nasal-colonization rates in a convenience sample of 105 emergency department healthcare workers (attending physicians, nurses, and technicians) at a single institution in Illinois. Nasal samples from 16 workers (15%) were MRSA-positive.
The prevalence of MRSA colonization among ED healthcare workers in this single-site study is alarming and highlights the importance of following infection control practices, including hand washing.
Richard D. Zane, MD, FAAEMPublished in Journal Watch Emergency Medicine December 24, 2008
Citation(s): Bisaga A et al. A prevalence study of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization in emergency department health care workers. Ann Emerg Med 2008 Nov; 52:525.