Hand hygiene, not isolation, reduces MRSA

Proper hand hygiene can reduce methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections by as much as 95 percent, according to Virginia Commonwealth University researchers. In a nine-year study, researchers found horizontal infection-prevention strategies that encourage hand washing to prevent MRSA and other infections that are transmitted via contact could be more effective than the traditional vertical approach of simply isolating MRSA patients. Isolating patients not only causes feelings of anxiety and depression, but also results in fewer visits by providers and increases the chances of bed sores and falls, lead investigator Michael B. Edmond, chair of infectious diseases at the VCU School of Medicine, said in a statement yesterday. "Patient safety is the key benefit to this approach. We found that it not only prevents MRSA, but other infections that are transmitted via contact. It can also save hospitals a lot of money," Edmond said. Announcement