Background: Infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) cause significant morbidity, mortality, and associated costs.
Methods: Trained infection control (IC) nurses in 84 smaller (<100 acute beds) hospitals during a 20-month period collected data on MRSA infections.
Results: The aggregate rate for all MRSA infections confirmed by the Victorian Hospital Acquired Infection Surveillance System Coordinating Centre IC nurse was 1.5 per 10,000 acute care occupied bed days (OBDs) (95% CI: 1.2-1.8). MRSA infections of 0.5 per 10,000 OBDs were detected >48 hours after admission (95% CI: 0.3-0.7). The aggregate rate for MRSA infections in sterile sites was 0.2 per 10,000 OBDs (95% CI: 0.0-0.4) and in nonsterile sites was 1.3 per 10,000 OBDs (95% CI: 1.0-1.6).
Conclusion: The results suggested that serious MRSA infections in Victoria's smaller hospitals are an infrequent event. Most are "inherited" either from the community or other health care facilities.