Few Strategies To Prevent MRSA Spread

Close living proximity, multiple medications, pressure sores and catheters all make nursing homes ideal for breeding and spreading MRSA. However, nursing homes appear to have been short-changed in the medical literature on prevention, despite studies repeatedly reporting that residents are at higher risk.

“Many different ways of preventing the spread of MRSA have been studied, particularly in hospitals; however, we found no studies that looked at ways of preventing the spread of MRSA in nursing homes for older people,” Carmel Hughes, one of the reviewers, says.

Hughes, a professor of primary care pharmacy at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland, and colleagues searched for randomized and controlled clinical trials that focused on infection control interventions in nursing homes. They found none.

Hughes said introducing effective interventions in hospitals might be easier because hospitals have isolation facilities and greater access to infection control expertise. Infection control training is not routinely available in nursing homes, she added.

“If we can use studies to show the poor state of the science we can hopefully generate interest in epidemiologic studies performed by healthcare epidemiologists who understand the hospital environment,” Perl said. In the meantime, nursing homes can take advantage of lessons learned from hospital research.

“It is likely that an intervention for MRSA in nursing homes will consist of screening recently admitted residents to the nursing homes, hand washing and high standards of cleaning and decontamination,” Hughes said. “It will be important for some staff members to make infection control a priority and that this is communicated to all other staff.” Rigorous testing in the nursing home environment and detailed notes about such interventions will help ensure that they are effective, she added.

MEDICA.de; Source: Center for the Advancement of Health