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An international report in The Lancet says that current methods used to control the hospital superbug MRSA could be doing more harm than good. Experts say there is poor evidence to support screening and isolating infected patients - standard practice in hospitals worldwide – and warn that more studies are needed before any change in protocols.
Despite rates of Methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) falling in many countries, concerns about the spread of the superbug remain. It is resistant to most antibiotics and while it is can be carried harmlessly on the skin it may lead to serious wound infections – particularly in people who are already unwell.
Hospitals have used a varied combination of methods to tackle it, including careful hand-washing and isolating infected individuals in private rooms, however researchers say the limited evidence focusing solely on isolation or screening suggest they may not reduce spread.
Professor Gerd Fatkenheuer, from the University Hospital Cologne, Germany, who was part of the research team said: “In the haste to do something against the rising tide of MRSA infection, measures were adopted that seemed plausible but were not properly assessed, bundling the effective and harmless with the ineffective and harmful.
“We know for example that isolating patients can result in anxiety and depression and fewer visits by doctors and nurses.”
The scientists emphasise evidence backs good hand-washing and suggests people with the bug should bathe daily using antibacterial solutions.
In March 2012, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) estimated that 300,000 patients a year in England alone acquired a healthcare-associated infection as a direct result of receiving care within the NHS.
Biomaster antibacterial protection offers a built-in defence against harmful bacteria and is proven to kill MRSA on surface contact The use of Biomaster antimicrobial technology in hygiene critical environments provides round-the-clock protection against bacterial build up from harmful species such MRSA, E.coli and Legionella.
Biomaster is already used in hospitals, dental surgeries, care homes and GP practices around the world, built-into products ranging from beds, cubicle curtains, nurse call systems, wall and ceiling paints, floors and door handles to pull cords and case note holders.
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