Mrsa | Medics' Hygiene Failures Hit Effort To Kill Off MRSA

FAILURES by medical staff to maintain basic hygiene, like washing their hands, appear to be seriously hampering the Scotland-wide push to tackle the superbug MRSA in hospitals.

New research shows that as many patients are carrying the potentially deadly infection when they enter a hospital as when they leave despite the introduction of mass screening to help reduce the spread of MRSA.

Under the testing regime, if a patient is found to be “colonised” with the bacteria – which means MRSA is living harmlessly on the skin – they can be given treatment to reduce the risk of developing an infection and of passing the bug on.

However, research has found that although screening resulted in some patients being cleared of the superbug, others still picked up the healthcare-associated infection (HAI) during their hospital stay.

Health experts warned the findings showed that strict hygiene control must remain a top priority for hospital staff.

Latest figures show that while nursing staff have the highest rates of compliance when it comes to washing their hands properly and regularly, medical staff such as doctors and surgeons failed to meet the 95% target in the past four monitoring reports.

Study leader professor Jacqui Reilly, lead consultant for HAI at Health Protection Scotland, said: “Around 2.9% of all the patients admitted were positive at the point of discharge, and it was about the same at the point of admission.

“Some people had come in with MRSA, been decolonised and left. Some people had come in without MRSA and had been

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