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MRSA Survivors Rally For Action and Awareness

  • Published: 2010-06-14 (Revised/Updated 2014-03-14) : Author: MRSA Survivors Network
  • Synopsis: How many more patients need die or injured from MRSA, vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) or other preventable MDRO infections.

Main Document

"Why have the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) not taken immediate action and declared MRSA an ongoing epidemic"

It is estimated that the yearly cost of MRSA infections in the United States is 20 billion dollars and 9.5 billion dollars for staphylococcus aureus infections with nearly 20,000 Americans dying each year from MRSA infections alone.

MRSA Survivors Network with MRSA survivors, family members and other victims of healthcare-acquired infections unite across the globe and on World MRSA Day, October 2, 2010 in a grassroots movement to raise awareness and push for more mandated reporting of infections, MRSA screening laws, funds to raise awareness and educate the public on prevention, which will save lives.

Jeanine Thomas, Founder of MRSA Survivors Network states, "We applaud the U.K. government health officials for their transparency and openness in demanding MRSA and C. difficile reporting on a weekly basis and also demanding MRSA screening."

MRSA Action UK, MRSA Survivors Networks' alliance partner is commended for their tireless work and their efforts to make this happen, they are true heroes.

Over five years ago, the U.K. government established targets for MRSA and clostridium difficile for UK Trusts (hospitals). By April 1, 2009 the UK government mandated that all elective admissions be screened for MRSA colonization. In addition, they mandated that all oncology/chemotherapy patients should be screened at the start of their treatment and then at regular intervals or if clinically indicated as these patients are at particular risk of MRSA bacteraemia because of their immune-suppression and the procedures for vascular access that are essential part of their treatment. After these measures were implemented, UK Trusts (hospitals) for the first time in >50 years have documented decreasing MRSA infection rates. Recently, the newly elected UK government has announced a policy of requiring weekly MRSA and C. difficile reports from the UK Trusts in order to further reduce the infection rates by these organisms.

It is estimated that the yearly cost of MRSA infections in the United States is 20 billion dollars and 9.5 billion dollars for staphylococcus aureus infections with nearly 20,000 Americans dying each year from MRSA infections alone. The loss of life every year from preventable infections is astounding as it is tragic.

Why have the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) not taken immediate action and declared MRSA an ongoing epidemic? Why are the CDC's Multi-drug-Resistant Organism (MDRO) Guideline recommendations so lax and confusing? How many more patients need to die or become egregiously injured from MRSA, vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) or other preventable MDRO infections? If the UK Government can mandate Active Detection and Isolation (ADI) - the use of surveillance cultures/testing to identify infected and colonized patients (the reservoir for transmission), placing these colonized/infected patients in isolation, healthcare worker hand hygiene, and environmental cleaning - at all hospitals in the U.K., why has the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and their prevention Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) not issuing such a mandate

Jeanine Thomas of MRSA Survivors Network met with CDC officials during the March, 2010 CDC International Decennial Conference on Healthcare-acquired Infections and urged the CDC to declare MRSA an ongoing epidemic and to recommend ADI, including MRSA screening for at-risk patients in their first tier of their MDRO Guideline. The CDC to date has not responded to these requests or answered a follow-up letter sent March 30, 2010 by MRSA Survivors Network.

World MRSA Day, October 2

MRSA Survivors Network, the predominate consumer and patient advocate nonprofit and the first organization in the United States to raise the alarm about MRSA and MDRO infections leads the crusade for awareness by launching last year World MRSA Day, October 2 and World MRSA Awareness Month, October. This year's theme is, " The MRSA Epidemic - A Call To Action" and the annual kick-off event will be held October 1, 2010 at Loyola University Chicago ( Lake Shore campus). The day will start with a press conference followed by the Remembrance Ceremony and main event. www.worldmrsaday.org

World MRSA Day 2010 sponsors include: StaphAseptic, 3M, Roche, Loyola University Chicago with media sponsor NBC5 Chicago.

"Everyone is coming together to raise awareness for MRSA and other healthcare-acquired infections that have touched so many lives and families," states Jeanine Thomas.

MRSA survivors and family members are encouraged to hold candlelight vigils on October 2nd or during the month of October at their place of worship, community centers, schools or state capital steps to raise awareness in solidarity and in remembrance of so many lives that have been lost.

Dr. William Jarvis will be receiving the "Barry M. Farr Lifetime Achievement Award" and Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin will be the recipient of the "Federal Legislator of the Year Public Service Award." Rob Stafford, anchor of NBC5 Chicago evening news will be the emcee for the event.

Co-chairs for the annual Chicago kick-off event are Illinois State Rep. Patti Bellock, Pat Merryweather - Sr. Vice President of Illinois Hospital Association and Jeanine Thomas.

MRSA Action UK's annual MRSA Memorial Event will be held on July 8, 2010 at London's Westminster Abbey and MRSA Survivors Network members will be attending to lend support.

For further information on how you can become a sponsor for World MRSA Day and activists who need help in planning their own event contact: Jeanine Thomas at jthomas@mrsasurvivors.org - Tel. 630 325-4354 www.worldmrsaday.org, www.mrsasurvivors.org

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