Pediatric ICU Patients Carrying MRSA at Heightened Risk of Full-Blown Infections

Hospitalized children that are colonized but not sick with the antibiotic-resistant bacterium MRSA are at considerable risk for developing full-blown infections, according to research conducted by Johns Hopkins Children's Center.


The Johns Hopkins study involved more than 3,000 children admitted to the Hopkins Children's pediatric ICU from 2007-2010. Routine screening showed that 153 patients arrived at the hospital already colonized with MRSA. Compared with noncarriers, these patients were nearly six times more likely to develop invasive MRSA infections after discharge and eight times more likely to develop them while still hospitalized.


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What's more, 15 MRSA-free children acquired the bacterium while in the PICU. Seven of the 15 children who became colonized with MRSA in the PICU went on to develop full-blown infections, six of whom while still in the hospital.

In addition to rigorous hand hygiene and isolation of MRSA carriers in private rooms, researchers suggest topical antibiotic in the carriers' nostrils and bathing with antiseptic solution may reduce the risk for transmission to others while also cutting the carrier's own risk of full-blown infection.

Related Articles on MRSA:

Central Line Infections, MRSA Rates Drop Among Tennessee Hospitals
Study: MRSA Bundle Implementation Needs the Right Multidisciplinary Team
Alaska's Providence Hospital Plagued With MRSA; 14 Babies Infected Since March

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