MRSA Detection and Prevention News

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

We recently surveyed healthcare organizations on their reactions to MRSA outbreaks. We invite you to comment here on your strategies, as well as review two new advances this week in the detection and prevention of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA):

In The New York Times, Andrew Pollack spotlights a California company that has developed a rapid genetic test to detect MRSA:

Patients might not particularly like the new admission procedure at a growing number of hospitals: having what looks like an elongated Q-Tip stuck up their noses. But it smells great to Cepheid. Cepheid, a biotechnology company in Silicon Valley, sells a rapid genetic test to detect MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant “superbug” that has received considerable media coverage and kills more Americans than AIDS.

And healthcare workers in Canada are receiving electronic reminders to disinfect before touching patients, according to CBC News:

Researchers at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute have developed a hand hygiene device. It consists of a sensor worn around the neck, infrared lights above the patient’s bed, and an alcohol gel dispenser attached to the waistband.

A healthcare worker wears the sensor and a beep is triggered when the person approaches a patient’s bed, reminding them to use the sanitizing gel. If the healthcare worker has already done so, the beep will not sound.

The system also records the time of entry and exit from each patient area and the number of times hands are disinfected. This data can be downloaded into a computer so individual staff members can check their overall hand hygiene and compare it anonymously against their peers.

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