WA doctors fight MRSA screening measure

Washington physicians have mounted a campaign designed to defeat legislation requiring them to screen some patients for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The initiative opposing MRSA screening requirements is spearheaded by the Washington State Medical Association, which is against any laws which demand that doctors address MRSA in a specific manner.

The bill, which would require MRSA screening for many surgical patients and those admitted to intensive-care units, was filed following an expose by The Seattle Times. The story detailed the growth of MRSA cases in hospitals from 141 a year ten years ago to 4,723 last year.

The state hospital association, meanwhile, has said that it doesn't reject the notion of instituting uniform MRSA screening standards. However, it isn't happy with provisions in the bill that would require hospitals to isolate patients colonized or infected with MRSA, as not all facilities have enough private rooms to isolate all infected patients, spokespeople said.

To learn more about this issue:
- read this Seattle Times piece

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