MRSA Study Slashes Deadly Infections in Sickest Hospital Patients

Dr. Mary K. HaydenUsing germ-killing soap and ointment on all intensive care unit patients can reduce bloodstream infections by up to 44 percent and significantly reduce the presence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in ICUs, according study results published in today’s New England Journal of Medicine.

The REDUCE MRSA trial, funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, was conducted in two stages from 2009-2011. It tested three MRSA prevention strategies and found that using germ-killing soap and ointment on all ICU patients was more effective than other strategies.

“The strategy that proved to be most effective was perhaps the most straightforward: All patients were bathed daily with chlorhexidine antiseptic soap for the duration of their ICU stay and all received mupirocin antibiotic ointment applied in the nose for five days,” said Dr. Mary K. Hayden, associate professor of infectious diseases and pathology at Rush University Medical Center, and one of the co-authors of the study.

Read the entire news release.

Rush collaborates with Cook County and CDC to stop health-care-associated infections

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is awarding researchers at the Cook County Health & Hospitals System and Rush University Medical Center a $2 million grant to continue a successful program aimed at preventing health-care-associated infections, antibiotic resistance, and other adverse events associated with healthcare. The project, dubbed the Chicago Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Prevention Epicenter (CARPE), is one of only five CDC Prevention Epicenters in the country.

Dr. Robert Weinstein and his colleagues at Cook County and Rush University have been pioneers in preventing infections caused by medical devices and by antimicrobial-resistant organisms. CDC looks forward to continuing our research partnership together and hope to build upon some of their prior groundbreaking work,” said Dr. John Jernigan, director of CDC’s Office of HAI Prevention Research and Evaluation.

Rush and Cook County were chosen to participate in the program because the two institutions have a long standing collaboration and legacy of research innovation in antimicrobial resistance and infection prevention by internationally known infectious disease experts.

Read more about the grant.