MRSA Screening Protocol Aids in Peds Open Airway Surgery

Postoperative infection rate similar for protocol-treated MRSA-colonized and noncolonized patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A screening and antibiotic treatment regimen for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in children undergoing open airway surgery may be helpful for minimizing MRSA-associated postoperative infections in MRSA-colonized patients, according to a study published in the February issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

Melissa McCarty Statham, M.D., of the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study of 180 children who underwent 197 open airway operations at a tertiary pediatric referral center from January 2007 to March 2009. The effect of a MRSA screening and treatment protocol was examined.

The researchers found that the overall prevalence of MRSA was 32.5 percent. Age at surgery, gender, gestational age at birth, and comorbidities were not significantly different in MRSA-colonized and noncolonized patients. The rates of postoperative infection were similar between the MRSA-colonized and noncolonized groups (16 and 17 percent, respectively). Postoperative MRSA infections developed in three patients who were MRSA negative on preoperative screening. In both groups, intraoperative adherence was high.

"We describe a MRSA screening and treatment protocol for children undergoing open airway surgery. We found a high prevalence (32.5 percent) of MRSA colonization in these patients," the authors write. "Treatment of MRSA-colonized patients resulted in postoperative infection rates similar to those in MRSA-noncolonized patients."

One author disclosed financial ties to medical device companies.

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