Increasing surveillance reduces mean MRSA NICU colonization duration by 246 hours

A study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection examined the effect of different surveillance frequencies on meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection rates in neonatal intensive care units.

Researchers simulated 100 NICU networks of 52 infants over a six-month period to assess MRSA transmission. They compared increasing the frequency of MRSA surveillance against the current NICU policy of dynamic surveillance, which occurred every one to three weeks.

The study shows as the surveillance frequency increased the mean number of MRSA-colonized infants decreased, from a high of 2.9 detected per episode when monitoring every four weeks to a low of 0.6 when monitoring every week.

Additionally, mean duration of colonization decreased from 307 hours to 61 hours, a decrease of 246 hours. However, as surveillance frequency increased, the availability of isolation rooms decreased.

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