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Hospitals See Big Decline In Antibiotic-Resistant Staph Infections

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

 

Hospitals have seen a dramatic decline in the antibiotic-resistant staph infection known as MRSA. A new study shows MRSA infections caused by catheters inserted into intensive care patients fell by 50 percent between 1997 and 2007. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

 

The findings run counter to the perception that MRSA infections are out of control in hospitals.

 

Researchers found the decrease when examining data from more than 16-hundred intensive care units nationwide.

 

Frank Myers heads up infection control at San Diego's Scripps Mercy Hospital . He says the decline occurred about the time hospitals started using alcohol-based hand cleaners.

 

Frank Myers: And we also began to implement what we call bundles, which are ways in which we approach inserting central lines into patients to reduce infections.

 

California hospitals are now required to report MRSA infection rates, and screen patients for the bacteria.

 

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

 

 

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