Strict Control Measures Enacted to Fight MRSA


Vancouver facility follows strict regimen

Facing a prolonged outbreak of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Center in British Columbia has implemented MRSA infection control measures that include the following:

Patients will be placed in a single room. The door may be left open unless the patient has MRSA in sputum and is coughing or the patient has a desquamating skin condition.

Patients will be confined to their rooms except when a visit to a diagnostic area is necessary. A patient may walk up and down the hall if avoiding direct contact with any objects or persons in the environment except for members of hospital staff that are gowned.

All patient care activities must be carried out consistent with the principles and practice of body substance precautions, including wearing gowns for direct contacts, such as lifting a patient. Surgical masks will be worn if patient has MRSA in respiratory tract and is coughing up sputum.

Extra equipment or unnecessary supplies must not be brought into the patient’s room. Necessary equipment such as stethoscopes must be dedicated for that patient’s use only and left in room to be decontaminated at terminal cleaning.

Visitors need not wear gowns, but must be instructed in proper hand-washing techniques and be observed practicing them correctly. Hand washing must be done when leaving the patient’s room.

Visitors are required to leave the hospital directly after visits and avoid contact with other persons or the environment.

Chlorhexidine hand-washing agent is to be used daily as a whole body wash (including shampoo where feasible) with special attention to all skin folds, i.e. axilla, inframammary folds, inguinal folds and perineum.

Aqueous chlorhexidine 1:2000 solution is to be used for daily cleaning of any wounds or insertion sites, such as surgical wounds and decubiti.

Mupirocin ointment is to be applied for one week to the rim of anterior nares, intravenous and other line sites, and other foreign body sites, where inserted through skin.

The patient must remain on isolation until declared cleared by a member of infection control staff. MRSA-infected or MRSA-colonized patients must not be transferred to another ward or facility without approval from the infection control department.