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Hospital goes 283 days without MRSA
A TOTAL of 283 days have passed at Great Western Hospital without a single case of MRSA bacteraemia.
The previous GWH acute record stood at 273 days between cases of the bug, which causes infections in the bloodstream as opposed to MRSA colonisation, which can sit on the body without causing illness.
Since 2003, there has been an 86 per cent reduction in cases of MRSA as well as a 94 per cent reduction in cases of Clostridium difficile (C.diff), a diarrhoea bug.
In 2011/12, the trust reported just two cases of MRSA bacteraemia.
Lisa Hocking, lead nurse and practitioner for infection prevention and control, said: “Although we are very pleased, my biggest worry is that we could become complacent and slip back into old ways.
“I don’t want people to think that we have done really well and it is no longer a problem – it is bacteria and it will always be a risk.”
GWH has introduced a number of infection control measures including antibacterial hand gel which staff and visitors are asked to use before entering and leaving a clinical area.
Patients are also encouraged to challenge staff about hand hygiene, and contractors Carillion have recently introduced microfibre floor cleaners as opposed to the old style ‘dolly mops’.
“We are constantly introducing new innovations so it is difficult to pinpoint our success on one factor,” said Lisa.
“I would say it is a combination of driving practice, public and staff awareness. “Patients now get screened for MRSA colonisation when they come in to the hospital so that has helped too.”
Lisa, who has worked in infection control for nearly five years, added: “I’d like to encourage patients and visitors to the hospital to always make use of the hand gel when entering wards, use the wash basins provided on the wards, and even small things like sitting on the chairs as opposed to the beds can make a huge difference.”