New guidelines have been published regarding the management of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in healthcare facilities. The guidelines were jointly produced by the Healthcare Infection Society and Infection Prevention Society, leading societies for advising on infection prevention and control (IPC) practice and guidelines.
The guidelines cover a range of areas such as:
- cleaning and disinfection
- skin decolonization and use of skin antiseptics
- education and use of feedback.
MRSA is a type of bacteria that can cause infection. Infection with MRSA mainly occurs in people who are already ill and can occur wherever care is given, including in a hospital or in the community, such as in residential or nursing care homes. Treating MRSA is difficult because the bugs are resistant to some types of antibiotics that would often be used to fight Staphylococcus aureus. This means these types of antibiotics will not work for MRSA infections. The good news is that the number of MRSA infections has fallen since 2008, but it remains a problem.
The new guidelines are intended to prevent patients from getting MRSA and becoming ill. It might also be of use to patients who already have MRSA, those who care for them and the general public, by helping them to understand which things work and which do not work to prevent MRSA in hospitals and other care settings.
There has been significant progress in recent years in managing MRSA in healthcare settings. Despite these advances the control of MRSA remains demanding and should be based on the best available evidence to ensure the appropriate use of healthcare resources. This document is an update of the previously published recommendations for the IPC of MRSA in healthcare facilities.