ANCHOR LEAD: AVOID MRSACAN TESTING EVERYONE IN THE HOSPITAL HELP AVOID DEADLY STAPH INFECTIONS? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Simply testing all patients who were admitted to the hospital and isolating those who tested positive for methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA - the often serious and sometimes deadly bacterial infection, eliminated the majority of cases in a VA hospital. Cecilia Johnston, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins, says testing everyone would be more practical if quick tests were available.
JOHNSTON: There actually are quick tests being developed because the irony is because the culture usually takes anywhere from a day to two days to come back even if you’re trying to screen every single person who is possibly colonized there is a three day window during which you can’t do anything even if someone is colonized with MRSA. People are developing assays that are rapid that can turn around in hours based on PCR that would enable you to pick up MRSA very quickly. :28
Such studies demonstrate that most cases of MRSA are brought into the hospital by patients. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.