76% of ED rooms contaminated after MRSA patient visit, study finds

Patients colonized with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus can contaminate emergency department environments, according to a study published in Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Researchers examined 42 adult ED patients with evidence of MRSA colonization. They obtained cultures from patients and then gathered cultures from up to 16 surfaces in the ED rooms after patient discharge but before disinfection of the rooms.

They found that 25 of the 42 ED patients enrolled in the study were colonized with MRSA. Of the 25 rooms occupied by patients with MRSA, 19 (76 percent) contained one or more MRSA-contaminated environmental surfaces on patient discharge.

Additionally, in 16 of the 19 ED rooms with MRSA on surfaces, all environmental strains were consistent with the MRSA strain on the patient.

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