APIC updates its Guide to the elimination of MRSA in hospitals

Washington, February 9, 2011 – APIC – The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology – has published a second edition of its Guide to the Elimination of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Transmission in Hospital Settings in an effort to provide the most current evidence-based practice guidance to protect patients from healthcare-associated infections.

Developed by leading experts in infection prevention and hospital epidemiology, the revised guide includes updates and enhancements to the original APIC guide published in 2007. Additional references, resources, research findings and guidance are integrated into the best practice recommendations for effective hospital MRSA management programs.

MRSA is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics called beta-lactams. These antibiotics include methicillin and other more common antibiotics such as oxacillin, penicillin, and amoxicillin. Drug-resistant pathogens are a growing threat to all people, especially in healthcare settings. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 70 percent of the bacteria that cause hospital-associated infections are resistant to at least one of the drugs commonly used to treat them. In the U.S., MRSA is associated with an estimated 19,000 deaths and $3.2 to $4.2 billion in added costs annually.

“The human and financial impact of MRSA infections makes efforts to eliminate MRSA transmission in healthcare settings compelling and necessary,” said Kathy Aureden, MS, MT (ASCP), SI, CIC, lead author of the guide and epidemiologist at Sherman Hospital in Elgin, Illinois.

To learn more about the Guide to the Elimination of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Transmission in Hospital Settings and APIC’s extensive library of other elimination guides, as well as many more infection prevention resources, visit www.apic.org/Professional-Practice/Implementation-guides.

APIC’s mission is to improve health and patient safety by reducing risks of infection and other adverse outcomes. The association’s more than 14,000 members direct infection prevention programs that save lives and improve the bottom line for hospitals and other healthcare facilities around the globe. APIC advances its mission through education, research,collaboration, practice guidance, public policy and credentialing. Visit APIC online at www.apic.org. For consumer-related information, visit www.preventinfection.org.