April 13, 2009

Study: Deep cleaning lowers MRSA risk

Deep cleaning of intensive care units can help lower the risk of drug-resistant bacteria, U.S. researchers say.

The study finds an enhanced cleaning protocol helped lower methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection among those exposed to a prior occupant with MRSA to 1.5 percent out of 1,443 patients -- down from the 3.9 percent of out of 1,454 patients before the enhanced cleaning.

The three-part cleaning intervention consisted of: changing from using a bottle to bucket immersion to apply disinfectant to cleaning cloths, educating hospital environmental services staff and obtaining feedback by using UV lights to check for removal of intentionally-applied marks.

The study involved more than 13,000 hospital stays in 10 Boston intensive care units. Routine admission and weekly screenings for MRSA and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci were conducted both in September 2003 to April 2005 before the cleaning intervention and during the intervention -- September 2005 to April 2008.

The findings were presented at the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America meeting in San Diego.