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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus central line–associated bloodstream infections in US intensive care units, 1997-2007.

Burton DC, Edwards JR, Horan TC, et al. JAMA. 2009;301:727-36.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) causes a significant proportion of dangerous hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), and as a result, influential organizations have recommended that hospitals specifically target MRSA colonization and infection in order to improve patient safety. This analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control's National Healthcare Safety Network found that the overall incidence of one common HAI, catheter-related bloodstream infection (CRBSI), declined significantly over the past decade. Moreover, the incidence of CRBSI due to MRSA dropped nearly 50%. An accompanying editorial acknowledges that the drop in MRSA infections may be more due to success in combating CRBSI in general, and not due to practices targeting MRSA infections specifically.