Invasive MRSA may be in decline according to a recent Journal of the American Medical Association study.
Invasive MRSA is a hospital-acquired infection that kills approximately 15,000 annually in the United States, Bloomberg.com reports.
According to the study, however, the rate at which patients contract the drug-resistant germ dropped 28 percent from 2005 to 2008 in nine major metropolitan areas across the U.S.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which collected and analyzed the data for the study, told Bloomberg.com that there was also a 17 percent decline in health-care related outbreaks that occurred outside hospitals.
Russell Olmsted, president-elect of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control & Epidemiology in Washington, told Bloomberg.com that federal guidelines on how to contain MRSA’s through better hygiene and standardized practices may be starting to pay off.
“While we need to better understand why the rates are dropping, this study is still very encouraging news,” Olmsted told Bloomberg.com.
Alex Kallen, chief medical officer for the Atlanta-based CDC and lead author of the study, told Bloomberg.com that approximately 90,000 people are sickened annually by invasive MRSA, the most virulent type of staphylococcus bacteria typically found in hospitals.
Patients can contract MRSA infections from fractures, surgical wounds and by tubes inserted in the bloodstream.
In an effort to curb infection rates through the bloodstream, CDC officials created a five-step process for installing IV lines in 2002. The process included prepping a patient’s skin with chlorahexadine, draping the body as it would be in surgery and exposing only the area where the IV will be placed.
Kellen said new, revised procedures for dealing with MRSA’s will be issued in late August or September.
“It’s equivalent to the checklist a pilot goes through before taking off,” Olmstead told Bloomberg.com.