Once again, Pennsylvania is at the forefront of MRSA awareness – and this time they have a plan of action! The VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System met at the end of last week and made plans to share infection prevention information with 17 other VA hospitals in the region and eventually with VA hospitals across the nation.
Dr. John Jernigan, from the CDC, offers preliminary data that says that “about 90,000 cases of serious MRSA infection occur in the U.S. annually and that they are associated with about 17,000 deaths.” I am glad to see some statistics starting to be gathered on this – the final figures will be even more shocking, I think.
The effort is “setting the stage” for the private health care sector to get more involved in MRSA prevention, said Dr. Rajiv Jain, VA Pittsburgh’s chief of staff and the project’s national director.
To control the spread of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, the 17 hospitals are expected to use techniques similar to those that have been successful at VA Pittsburgh, including nasal swabs to test patients for the bacteria. Patients with MRSA typically are isolated to prevent the spread of the pathogen, which can cause serious surgical wound infections, bloodstream infections and pneumonia. Source