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An infection that antibiotics can’t kick

While modern medicine has come a long way, there are still things that can’t be cured by medication or a surgery.  A staph infection called Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus or MRSA is one of those conditions that doesn’t have a cure.

Now several hospitals are trying to come up with a set of guidelines to keep patients from getting the infection.

The infection:
MRSA can spread easily in hospitals.  The infection typically starts as small red bumps all over the body and can turn into deep red abscesses that need surgical draining.  The infection is resistant to medications and can lead to death.

No antibiotics can tackle it:
According to the Mayo Clinic, “MRSA is the result of decades of often unnecessary antibiotic use. For years, antibiotics have been prescribed for colds, flu and other viral infections that don’t respond to these drugs. Even when antibiotics are used appropriately, they contribute to the rise of drug-resistant bacteria because they don’t destroy every germ they target.”

The study:

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Researchers from Indiana University have identified common problems at Intensive Care Units that could reduce the risk of MRSA.

“Our research found that while implementation plans should be locally-derived, reducing and preventing the spread of infections in ICUs entails overcoming common barriers,” said Amber Welsh, PhD of the Indiana University Center for Health Services & Research Outcomes.

Their suggestions to hospitals:
*Engage front line staff in implementation.
*Build a multi-disciplinary implementation team.
*Commit to data collection, management, and feedback.
*Acquire support of top management.
*Use process mapping and other problem-solving tools.

The future:
“The tendency for any organization unit is to say, ‘We’re different,’ implying that change efforts must be tailor-made for each unique group or culture,” Dr. Welsh said. “But our research shows that while units are unique, there are commonalities that can guide consideration and planning efforts to implement new practices. We hope that this study will help hospitals realize that change implementation is both a unique and universal activity.”

About Lisa

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As a journalist Lisa enjoys writing about a variety of topics. Over the course of the last ten years she has been involved in television news as well as print and online publications. Medical news has always been a favorite for this native New Yorker because she gets to stay on top of the latest developments in a rapidly changing field.

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