A new study, released late last month, tested three different strategies for preventing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. Researchers from the University of California, Irvine, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all participated in the study. They compared providing routine care to all patients, providing germ-killing soap and ointment only to patients with MRSA, and using germ-killing soap and ointment on all ICU patients.
The study found that with routine care, neither the presence or MRSA or other bloodstream infections were significantly reduced. Method two, bathing and treating only patients who were found to carry MRSA, reduced infections by 23 percent. The best treatment, however, was universal bathing and treatment of all ICU patients, which reduced infections by 44 percent.
A total of 74 adult ICUs and 74,256 patients were part of the study, making it the largest study on this topic, CDC officials said. The study, and a synopsis, can be found on the CDC website here.