Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



Blood Infections in ICU Cut With Simple Measures: Study

Blood Infections in ICU Cut With Simple Measures: Study

10/19/12

FRIDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The use of antibacterial soap and ointment on all intensive care patients led to a significant reduction in bloodstream infections, a new study shows.

The findings suggest that a major change in health care practice could help save lives, according to the researchers.

The study of nearly 75,000 patients in 43 hospitals in 16 states looked at different ways to control methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus(MRSA) infections. These preventable infections can cause serious complications for patients, leading to prolonged hospital stays and increased risk of death.

Of the strategies tested, the most effective one was the simplest and most straightforward.

Instead of screening intensive care patients for MRSA and then focusing on those identified as carriers of MRSA, all ICU patients were bathed daily with antiseptic soap during their ICU stay and received antibiotic ointment in their nose for five days.

As a result, the number of patients harboring MRSA -- not sick because of it, but at risk for becoming ill later and for spreading the bacteria to others -- fell by more than a third. The number of bloodstream infections caused by MRSA and other bacteria fell by 44 percent.

"This trial provides strong evidence that removing bacteria from the skin and nose is highly effective at preventing serious infection in high-risk ICU patients," lead researcher Dr. Susan Huang, medical director of epidemiology and infection prevention at University of California, Irvine Healthcare, said in a news release from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

"A 44 percent reduction in infection is very promising for improving medical care and protecting highly vulnerable patients. It suggests that treating all ICU patients with this strategy is beneficial. This approach may make screening for drug-resistant organisms unnecessary," Huang said.

The study was scheduled for presentation Wednesday at a joint annual meeting in San Diego of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the HIV Medicine Association and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.

The results only apply to ICU patients, and Huang noted that routinely using antimicrobial soap and ointment in low-risk patient groups might increase resistance to these products without significant benefit.

Research presented at meetings is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about MRSA infections.

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse Hospital Appoints Chief Information Officer
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >