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Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2000 Dec;16(6):357-66.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA): is there a need to change clinical practice?

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Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a virulent organism that causes significant mortality and morbidity especially to patients in critical care areas (CCAs). MRSA can (and does in some cases) also contribute to an increased length of hospital stay and higher health care costs. The literature proposes that routine screening of patients in CCAs is an effective strategy to control MRSA. Furthermore, placing patients in contact isolation until screening results are confirmed can prevent the spread of MRSA. The policies for management of MRSA patients and the incidence of MRSA infection vary widely. The preliminary findings from this review suggest that a uniform policy regarding routine screening and infection control management for all CCA patients should be recommended. A uniform policy has the potential to reduce rates of infection, cross-contamination and associated health costs attributed to MRSA management. However, further research is required before changes to infection control policy can be recommended. The outcomes from this review will be used to increase staff awareness of current infection control practices for MRSA patients in critical care areas and encourage further research.

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