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PLoS One. 2009 Dec 15;4(12):e8305. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008305.

Clinical and financial outcomes due to methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus surgical site infection: a multi-center matched outcomes study.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Duke Infection Control Outreach Network, Durham, North Carolina, USA.



The clinical and financial outcomes of SSIs directly attributable to MRSA and methicillin-resistance are largely uncharacterized. Previously published data have provided conflicting conclusions.


We conducted a multi-center matched outcomes study of 659 surgical patients. Patients with SSI due to MRSA were compared with two groups: matched uninfected control patients and patients with SSI due to MSSA. Four outcomes were analyzed for the 90-day period following diagnosis of the SSI: mortality, readmission, duration of hospitalization, and hospital charges. Attributable outcomes were determined by logistic and linear regression.


In total, 150 patients with SSI due to MRSA were compared to 231 uninfected controls and 128 patients with SSI due to MSSA. SSI due to MRSA was independently predictive of readmission within 90 days (OR = 35.0, 95% CI 17.3-70.7), death within 90 days (OR = 7.27, 95% CI 2.83-18.7), and led to 23 days (95% CI 19.7-26.3) of additional hospitalization and $61,681 (95% 23,352-100,011) of additional charges compared with uninfected controls. Methicillin-resistance was not independently associated with increased mortality (OR = 1.72, 95% CI 0.70-4.20) nor likelihood of readmission (OR = 0.43, 95% CI 0.21-0.89) but was associated with 5.5 days (95% CI 1.97-9.11) of additional hospitalization and $24,113 (95% 4,521-43,704) of additional charges.


The attributable impact of S. aureus and methicillin-resistance on outcomes of surgical patients is substantial. Preventing a single case of SSI due to MRSA can save hospitals as much as $60,000.

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