Incidence of ICU MRSA Infections Declining

Central line-associated bloodstream infections decreasing over recent years
By Lisa Cockrell, PhD
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) central line-associated bloodstream infections has decreased over recent years in most intensive care units (ICUs), according to research published Feb. 18 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Deron C. Burton, M.D., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues used data reported by hospital ICUs to calculate the incidence rates of central line-associated bloodstream MRSA infections. Between 1997 and 2007, the researchers note that 1,684 ICUs reported data to the CDC.

Of the 33,587 reported central line-associated bloodstream infections, 2,498 (7.4 percent) were MRSA, the investigators found. Between 1997 and 2001, medical, teaching-affiliated medical-surgical and pediatric ICUs had no significant change in the incidence of infection, while surgical, non-teaching-affiliated medical-surgical, cardiothoracic and coronary ICUs reported an increase in MRSA incidence, the researchers report. Conversely, incidence of MRSA central line-associated bloodstream infections significantly declined in all ICU types except pediatric ICUs from 2001 to 2007. For instance, surgical ICUs reported nearly a 70 percent decrease in MRSA bloodstream infections, while non-teaching-affiliated medical-surgical ICUs reported a 51.5 percent decrease. Overall, MRSA central line-associated bloodstream infections decreased by approximately half (49.6 percent), the report indicates.

"Clearly, ICUs participating in [the CDC's National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance/National Healthcare Safety Network] have made substantial progress at reducing hospital-acquired infections," the author of an accompanying editorial writes, adding "despite this progress, most ICUs are far from the goal of zero infections and many have not implemented suggested prevention strategies."

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