Active Surveillance Works in Pittsburgh


The Veterans Affairs hospital in Pittsburgh says simple precautions can keep deadly drug-resistant infections at bay.

The hospital said there were just 17 cases of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, last year, compared to an average 60 before the aggressive campaign started, The New York Times said Friday.

Nurses swab the nasal passages of every arriving patient to test for drug-resistant bacteria, isolating those infected in special rooms behind red painted lines.

The newspaper said every room has dispensers of foamy hand sanitizer, blood pressure cuffs are discarded after use and each room is assigned its own stethoscope.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projected one of every 22 patients will get an infection while hospitalized and 99,000 would die.

A recent survey found less than a quarter of U.S. hospitals screen patients for bacterial colonies in any methodical way.

From United Press International