A hospital trust in the UK claims to have eliminated MRSA infections by introducing a prescription technique for intravenous injections.
Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust has begun prescribing the insertion of cannulae – a small tube used for giving intravenous fluids.
This means that doctors use the tube only when absolutely necessary and are able to monitor them closely for signs of infection.
The cannulae are prescribed only by specialists trained in their insertion and they are signed off by a doctor. Once in place, the cannula is flushed with a saline solution and inspected on a daily basis.
A scorecard is then used to regularly rate its appearance and spot any irregularities or signs of infection.
In 2007/08, the trust had 11 MRSA bloodstream infections – one under the maximum level of 12 the Government says is acceptable. Four of these cases were believed to have been cannula-related.
But since the introduction of the new system in November, there have been no new cases of MRSA at the trust, which runs the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester and the Andover War Memorial Hospital.
The trust believes that if the same practice was adopted nationwide by the NHS, MRSA levels would drop dramatically.
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