Evaluation of screening risk and nonrisk patients for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus on admission in an acute care hospital

Creamer, Eilish, Galvin, Sandra, Dolan, Anthony, Sherlock, Orla, Dimitrov, Borislav D, Fitzgerald-Hughes, Deirdre, Thomas, Toney, Walsh, John, Moore, Joan, Smyth, Edmond G, Shore, Anna C, Sullivan, Derek, Kinnevey, Peter, O'Lorcain, Piaras, Cunney, Robert, Coleman, David C and Humphreys, Hilary (2011) Evaluation of screening risk and nonrisk patients for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus on admission in an acute care hospital American Journal of Infection Control, 40, (5), pp. 411-415. (doi:10.1016/j.ajic.2011.07.008). (PMID:21962934).


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Background: screening for methicillin-resistant Staphylocccus aureus (MRSA) is advocated as part of control measures, but screening all patients on admission to hospital may not be cost-effective.

Objective: our objective was to evaluate the additional yield of screening all patients on admission compared with only patients with risk factors and to assess cost aspects.

Methods: a prospective, nonrandomized observational study of screening nonrisk patients ?72 hours of admission compared with only screening patients with risk factors over 3 years in a tertiary referral hospital was conducted. We also assessed the costs of screening both groups.

Results: a total of 48 of 892 (5%) patients was MRSA positive; 28 of 314 (9%) during year 1, 12 of 257 (5%) during year 2, and 8 of 321 (2%) during year 3. There were significantly fewer MRSA-positive patients among nonrisk compared with MRSA-risk patients: 4 of 340 (1%) versus 44 of 552 (8%), P ? .0001, respectively. However, screening nonrisk patients increased the number of screening samples by 62% with a proportionate increase in the costs of screening. A backward stepwise logistic regression model identified age > 70 years, diagnosis of chronic pulmonary disease, previous MRSA infection, and admission to hospital during the previous 18 months as the most important independent predictors to discriminate between MRSA-positive and MRSA-negative patients on admission (94.3% accuracy, P < .001).

Conclusion: screening patients without risk factors increased the number of screenings and costs but resulted in few additional cases being detected. In a hospital where MRSA is endemic, targeted screening of at-risk patients on admission remains the most efficient strategy for the early identification of MRSA-positive patients

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/j.ajic.2011.07.008
ISSNs: 0196-6553 (print)
Organisations: Primary Care & Population Sciences
ePrint ID: 337418
Date :
Date Event
September 2011e-pub ahead of print
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2012 07:35
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 17:16
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/337418

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