Simple measures reduce blood infections in intensive care units

October 17, 2012
Dr. Susan Huang

A sweeping study on the issue of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in hospitals shows that using antimicrobial soap and ointment on all intensive-care patients significantly significantly cuts bloodstream infections.

Led by UC Irvine infectious diseases specialist Dr. Susan Huang, the study involved nearly 75,000 patients in 43 community hospitals in 16 states and utilized the facilities’ regular staff rather than specially trained researchers. Accordingly, its findings about “universal decolonization” for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, may have widespread applicability across the country.

“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.

UC Irvine-led study identifies best strategy for curbing MRSA ›

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