ICUs in 600 hospitals see drop in staph superbugs

Accreditation Connection, February 20, 2009

A recent government report has found a dramatic drop in the rate of dangerous staph infections in intensive care units (ICU) between 1997 and 2007, reports the Washington Post.

Hospitals that reported methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infections to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saw almost a 50% decrease during the timeframe of the study.

MRSA cannot be treated with common antibiotics and causes more than 18,000 deaths each year, which is why most states are considering passing laws requiring MRSA testing or are taking other preventative steps. Taking steps similar to these is part of the reason for the drops in infection, authors of the study say.

Despite these decreasing numbers, the study is limited and only shows results from hospitals' ICUs and not other hospital settings.

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