We’ve blogged many times on the adverse unintended consequences of active surveillance for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). A study in the American Journal of Infection Control documents yet another setback for patients colonized with MRSA. Susan Huang’s group studied admission practices at 13 nursing homes in California. Patients colonized with MRSA were nearly 3-fold more likely to be denied admission than those without MRSA colonization. Active detection and isolation for multidrug-resistant pathogens is one of the only interventions in medicine where the benefit accrues to patients who don’t bear the burden of the intervention. And the more we study this, the bigger we find that burden to be.
Michael B. Edmond, MD, FACP, is a hospital epidemiologist in Richmond, Va., with a focus on understanding why infections occur in the hospital and ways to prevent these infections, and sees patients in the inpatient and outpatient settings. This post originally appeared at the blog Controversies in Hospital Infection Prevention.