Screening in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Reduced Staph Infection Rate by 43 Percent
Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore reduced the frequency of methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) infections in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) by 43 percent over a three-year period after staff began screening and treating babies who were harboring germs that might cause the infection, according to new AHRQ-supported research. Researchers said that some NICUs are already screening and treating babies for methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) transmission and infections. However, MSSA infections occur more frequently and pose similar risks of death in newborns, although they respond better to antibiotics typically used to treat staph infections. Researchers concluded that incorporating MSSA screening into NICU infection control practices may be an important step for reducing all staph infections.