Bloodsteam Infections in ICU Patients Plummet


Reduction in bloodstream infection rates resulting from a simple intervention: bathing all ICU patients daily with antimicrobial chlorhexidine soap rather than the widely mandated practice of screening ICU patients to determine which ones harbor methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and then implementing an MRSA treatment protocol for them.

According to data on 75,000 patients at hospitals in 16 states presented in October at the Infectious Diseases Society of America annual meeting, there also was a 37% reduction in patients with MRSA.

Lead researcher Susan Huang, MD, an infectious-disease specialist at the University of California at Irvine, says the results show the benefits of this preventive approach, which included applying an antibiotic ointment to the patient’s nasal passage, and could make ICU screening for drug-resistant organisms, such as MRSA, unnecessary.

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