Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections in humans. It is also called multi-drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and oxacillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (ORSA). MRSA is any strain of Staphylococcus aureus that has developed resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics, which include the penicillins (methicillin, dicloxacillin, nafcillin, oxacillin, etc.) and the cephalosporins. MRSA is especially troublesome in hospitals and nursing homes, where patients with open wounds, invasive devices, and weakened immune systems are at greater risk of infection than the general public.
The global awareness week also draws attention for the urgent need for healthcare and community facilities to test frequently touched surfaces for MRSA and other pathogens and to effectively clean and decontaminate the environment. MRSA can live on surfaces for weeks, is spread by contact and a simple nasal swab can save lives.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more Americans (nearly 20,000) die of invasive MRSA infections every year, more than from HIV/AIDS, but many believe that the true number is over 100,000 deaths occurring from MRSA every year in the United States.
"MRSA, healthcare-acquired infections (HAI's) and antimicrobial resistance must become a top political priority worldwide," states Jeanine Thomas. "In the United States many MRSA victims are becoming permanently disabled, bankrupt and homeless; it is so tragic because it is preventable."
More than 200 studies support the need for active detection and isolation (ADI) to control MRSA along with decolonizing MRSA positive patients.
Why does the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still not strongly recommend this approach in their HICPAC CDC guidelines in controlling multi drug-resistant organisms (MDRO's) while another U.S. federal agency - the VA Health Systems screens all of their patients since 2008The CDC came out recently with a press release stating that MRSA infection rates have dropped by 18%, but no data was included to substantiate their claim. Why the lack of transparency
While over one-third of U.S. hospitals currently (that includes all of the VA healthcare facilities) screen patients for MRSA, every single healthcare facility should implement active detection and isolation (ADI) to reduce MRSA infection rates and save lives. Healthcare facilities must implement a bundled-comprehensive approach to controlling MRSA colonization and infections; active detection and isolation, decolonization of carriers (MRSA positive patients), decontamination of frequently touched surfaces, strict adherence to hand hygiene and good stewardship/prudent use of antibiotics
"Too many lives are lost from preventable MRSA infections worldwide," states Jeanine Thomas, founder of MRSA Survivors Network. "Antimicrobial resistance will continue to increase if we do not work hard to prevent MRSA and other infections such as C. difficile and VRE."
To assist healthcare facilities and community organizations to raise awareness during International MRSA Testing Week, April 1-7th, MRSA Survivors Network is creating down-loadable posters, web banners, a brochure and e-card which will be available on the MRSA Survivors Network website. A 15 second Public Service Announcement (PSA) with Mr. Rob Stafford, anchor for NBC Chicago evening news and contributing correspondent with Dateline NBC has been produced and can be seen on the MRSA Survivors Network website and YouTube channel - youtu.be/qA6OFlzsCwI .
MRSA Survivors Network operates the only MRSA Crisis Hotline in the United States (630 325-4354) for MRSA victims, their families and caregivers. MSN also provides wound care items directly to disadvantaged MRSA surgical site infection patients.
MRSA Survivors Network was the first patient/consumer nonprofit organization in the U.S. to raise the alarm about MRSA and healthcare-acquired infections beginning in 2002 and founded World MRSA Day, October 2 and MRSA Awareness Month, October in 2009 to raise awareness to the worldwide MRSA epidemic. Jeanine Thomas, founder, national spokesperson and conference speaker is a survivor of MRSA sepsis and C. difficile.
For information on corporate or individual sponsorship opportunities for the International MRSA Testing Week campaign, to donate, volunteer or to have Jeanine Thomas to speak at your conference contact us at: Tel: 630 325-4354, email: jthomas@MRSAsurvivors.org www.MRSAsurvivors.org, www.worldMRSAday.org