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Antibiotic resistance

Scottish health board tackles rise in MRSA

A 34% rise in cases of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and meticillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) infections in just three months has prompted a Scottish health board to introduce new procedures for administering intravenous drugs and fluids.

The move follows recommendations from an audit, by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), into NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s use of central venous and peripheral venous cannulae in January 2014.

Official figures highlighted by Health Protection Scotland (HPS) in early January showed that the number of MRSA and MSSA cases had risen by over a third between July and September 2013 and the previous quarter.


An increased trend in meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection rates prompted new policies at one Scottish health board

According to a report in last Monday (9 June 2014), there was confusion about how to use the cannulae. There was also no approved policy for their insertion and maintenance, which created inconsistencies in practice, according to The Herald.

In a statement issued on Tuesday (10 June 2014), the health board said it had taken action after it discovered the increased trend in S. aureus infection. It brought in PwC to audit its response to the increase “in line with best practice”.

In response to the PwC audit, the health board introduced standard operating procedures for the insertion and maintenance of cannulae.

The number of infections has since dropped, and the board is on track to meet NHS targets in Scotland to reduce MRSA and MSSA infection rates, it said.


Citation: Electronicjuice DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.20065317

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