An investigation of contact transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

J Hosp Infect. 2004 Oct;58(2):104-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2004.06.010.

Abstract

Hand hygiene is critical in the healthcare setting and it is believed that methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), for example, is transmitted from patient to patient largely via the hands of health professionals. A study has been carried out at a large teaching hospital to estimate how often the gloves of a healthcare worker are contaminated with MRSA after contact with a colonized patient. The effectiveness of handwashing procedures to decontaminate the health professionals' hands was also investigated, together with how well different healthcare professional groups complied with handwashing procedures. The study showed that about 17% (9-25%) of contacts between a healthcare worker and a MRSA-colonized patient results in transmission of MRSA from a patient to the gloves of a healthcare worker. Different health professional groups have different rates of compliance with infection control procedures. Non-contact staff (cleaners, food services) had the shortest handwashing times. In this study, glove use compliance rates were 75% or above in all healthcare worker groups except doctors whose compliance was only 27%.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cross Infection / microbiology
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Cross Infection / transmission
  • Gloves, Protective / statistics & numerical data
  • Hand Disinfection / methods*
  • Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / methods
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Professional-to-Patient / prevention & control
  • Methicillin Resistance*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Queensland / epidemiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / prevention & control*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / transmission
  • Staphylococcus aureus / classification
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification*