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2010 WISH LIST for MRSA prevention

December 26th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Kathys ListI’m inspired by the wish list from the Consumers Union Safe Patient Project group to write my own 2010 wish list.

1) I wish that Maine Hospitals and every other hospital in the US would adopt the entire 2003 SHEA recommendations for MRSA prevention.  It works and there is no denying it.

2) I wish all hospitals would acknowledge MRSA as an ever present and evolving deadly infection and approach it as such.  We now have a world wide epidemic.

3) I wish that doctors would list MRSA as a cause of death on all death certificates of patients that MRSA has been a contributing factor in their death.  Just writing “Sepsis” is not sufficient.  They must list the cause of Sepsis.

4) I wish that Maine hospitals would become more transparent with their MRSA infection numbers by reporting them to the Maine CDC.  At this time it is only mandated to report invasive MRSA.  According to the Maine CDC there have been a grand total of 9 invasive MRSA infections in the entire State of Maine from 1998 to 2007.  In 2008 there were 45 reported for the single year.   These numbers are misleading.  Do we need a mandate to get Hospitals to report their infection rates, recognize the problem, measure it and deal with it.

5) I wish all healthcare providers would learn to respect the space and bodies of all patients by faithfully washing their hands EVERY time they touch a patient or their surroundings

6) I wish that every hospital would isolate every MRSA positive patient to prevent spread of disease.  We know that many do not do this and that failure to do so fosters spread of disease.

7) I wish that every hospital would offer those who are MRSA positive the opportunity for decolonization treatment prior to an invasive procedure.  The simple treatment of Mupirocin nasally and Chlorhexidine baths for 5 days preoperatively can and will prevent many invasive infections.

8)  I wish doctors and other prescribers would stop giving antibiotics to patient who do not need them.  This would help to stop the emergence of new and scarier multi drug resistant organisms.

9) I wish we activists didn’t have to fight so hard with the providers of our care to take the necessary steps to STOP MRSA NOW!

10) I wish our “experts” and others had paid attention to MRSA in the late 1980s rather than waiting until it killed my father and 19,000 to 45,000 other patients every year….more than AIDS, or Breast Cancer, or Motor Vehicle Accidents.

11) I wish we didn’t have to continue our fight in Maine to get MRSA screening and prevention right.  Screening will begin in 2010, but it is not optimal and will be of limited value.  I wish we could get it right the first time.

Anyone can add to this list.  Just write in comments.

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