Study: Full Contact Precautions as Effective Against MRSA as Gloves Alone

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Full contact precautions, including the use of cover gowns, may not be more effective in preventing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus transmission than just wearing gloves, according to a study in American Journal of Infection Control.

Researchers evaluated the effect of a bundle of infection control measures on MRSA transmission rates at two similar Veterans Health Administration hospitals. The bundle included four components:

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•    Institutional culture change
•    Surveillance for MRSA infection and transmission
•    Active screening for colonization
•    Contact precautions for colonized patients

One hospital implemented Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recommended contact precautions, which include wearing a cover gown. The other hospital modified the precautions to include only the use of gloves.

During the four-year study period, hospital A had 1.58 MRSA transmissions per 1,000 patient days and hospital B had 1.56. Both hospitals significantly reduced MRSA healthcare-associated infections, and there was no significant difference in the incidence of MRSA HAIs or MRSA surgical site infections between the hospitals. Annual acquisition costs for cover gowns were $183,609 at hospital A and $25,812 at hospital B.

More Articles on MRSA:

More Community-Associated MRSA in Smaller vs. Larger Hospitals
Study: Better Hand Hygiene Didn't Alter C. diff, MRSA Rates

Are Contact Precautions Necessary to Decrease Risk of Infection?

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