Dedicated staff at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals are aiming to extend their record of 365 days MRSA inefction free.
Known as a particularly tricky bacterium, Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus blood stream infection, is resistant to several widely used antibiotics, making it much harder to treat than ‘normal’ bacterial infections.
About one in three people carry MRSA on the surface of their skin or in their nose without developing an infection. However, if MRSA bacteria gets into the body through a break in the skin it can cause infections such as boils, abscesses or impetigo and if it gets into the bloodstream it can cause more serious ailments.
The DBTH Trust’s Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Team have worked tirelessly throughout the last year with clinicians to ensure that the bug is kept in check. This includes screening all patients for the bacteria, isolating those with a positive result and immediately beginning what is known as a ‘decolonisation’ process in order to stop it spreading any further and causing harm.
Lead nurse for IPC at the Trust, Carol Scholey, said: “Ensuring we keep MRSA out of our hospitals has been a number one priority for the team and I am incredibly proud of this achievement. Tackling infection is a daily challenge in any hospital and reaching this particular milestone is a testament to the dedication and enthusiasm with which our staff approach patient care and treatment.”
Among other initiatives, the IPC team has led hand-washing campaigns within the Trust, ensuring all wards and services are compliant with hygiene and infection-control policies, as well as reviewing the use of any devices and treatment tools which can lead to an increased chance of developing MRSA. Above all else, the team have encouraged members of staff to be vigilant, looking out for symptoms of the bug and acting upon any potential signs that could lead to further infection.
Dr Ken Agwuh, Director of Infection Prevention and Control at DBTH, said: “Ensuring our patients are safe while they are in our care is a top priority, and improving our infection control measures, in every regard, is a crucial step in this process. Our Infection Prevention and Control team have been proactive and, alongside Trust colleagues, have shown real commitment ensuring patients receive the highest quality care, within a safe environment. Going a year without MRSA is a very positive achievement, but it is important that we do not become complacent and continue on this improvement journey to keep our hospitals free of bugs, bacteria and preventable infection.”