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Room Cleaning Linked to Lower Drug-Resistant Infections

Enhanced cleaning interventions may lower drug-resistant infection risk from previous occupant

TUESDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- Enhanced intensive care unit (ICU) cleaning may reduce methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) transmission, according to a study published in the March 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Rupak Datta, M.P.H., from the University of California Irvine School of Medicine, and colleagues compared the risk of acquiring MRSA or VRE from prior MRSA- or VRE-positive room occupants in 9,949 patients admitted to ICUs during an enhanced cleaning intervention (2006 to 2008) with 8,203 patients admitted in a baseline period (2003 to 2005). The number of room stays with potential for MRSA and VRE acquisition and frequency of being exposed to rooms with prior MRSA- or VRE-positive patients were calculated.

The investigators found that post-intervention, acquisition of MRSA and VRE decreased from 3.0 to 1.5 percent and from 3.0 to 2.2 percent, respectively. In the baseline period, patients exposed to rooms previously occupied by MRSA carriers had an increased MRSA acquisition risk (3.9 versus 2.9 percent), but the risk was not increased during the intervention period. In contrast, in both the baseline and intervention periods, patients exposed to rooms previously occupied by VRE carriers had an increased VRE acquisition risk (4.5 versus 2.8 percent and 3.5 versus 2.0 percent, respectively).

"Enhanced ICU cleaning involving targeted feedback using a black-light marker, disinfectant-saturated cleaning cloths, and increased education regarding best-practice cleaning methods, may reduce MRSA and VRE transmission and eliminate the risk of MRSA acquisition due to an MRSA-positive prior room occupant," the authors write.

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