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Med J Aust. 1990 Mar 5;152(5):240-5.

Successful control of endemic MRSA in a cardiothoracic surgical unit.

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  • 1St. Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst, NSW.


After a substantial increase in the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the Cardiothoracic Surgical Unit at St. Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, a prospective study was undertaken in early 1986 to ascertain the carrier status of all patients entering the Unit. Of 84 patients, 27.4% were found to carry MRSA and the perineum was the major site of carriage, with 69.6% of MRSA positive cases carrying the organism in this site. As a result of these findings, the period of perioperative antibiotic cover was shortened, whole-body washing of patients with a 1% triclosan preparation was instituted and routine postoperative perineal swabs were taken. During the 18 months after implementation of these policies, a highly significant reduction in the number of MRSA carriers and infections was observed. The monitoring of perineal colonization proved to be a useful marker for increases in MRSA in the Unit.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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