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Swabs help to reduce MRSA across East Lancashire
SWABBING incoming hospital patients for MRSA has significantly reduced infections of the superbug, according to health bosses.
So far this year there has only been one case of the superbug, and in the year 2011-12 there were six cases – a 25 per cent drop on eight cases in 2010-11 when screening emergency patients began.
Health bosses said that all elective admissions to the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) are screened to find out if they are colonised with the superbug, as well as 90 per cent of emergency admissions. Samples are taken from a patient’s nose and groin before being sent to a laboratory for analysis.
Beverley Aspin, ELHT senior matron infection prevention and control, said: “Preventing hospital infections is one of the Trust’s key priorities and it is one of the biggest areas of public concern.
“The Trust has introduced initiatives aimed at preventing hospital infections including the introduction of a specialist MRSA nurse and a great MRSA screening service, which enables us to detect and deal with MRSA colonisation quickly.
“Most people admitted to hospital are screened to find out if they are colonised with MRSA, this includes emergency and elective patients. MRSA can live on the skin without causing any problems. However, MRSA can cause problems when it gets the opportunity to enter the body.
“This is more likely to happen in people who are already vulnerable.
“Ensuring good clinical practice around line and wound care helps to prevent infections.
“Being able to detect it early and offer decolonisation treatment helps to reduce the risk of infection from MRSA.”
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