MRSA Screening Saves Lives - MRSA Epidemic Spreading Globally

Jun 04, 2013, 08:31 ET from MRSA Survivors Network

CHICAGO, June 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- MRSA Survivors Network, the Chicago-based nonprofit continues to raise the alarm concerning the MRSA epidemic in the United States and worldwide. With eighty-five percent of all MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infections occurring in U.S. healthcare facilities due to lapses in infection control, the public has become aware of this deadly, silent and secret disease.


More Americans die every year from MRSA than from HIV/AIDS – over 19,000. The Netherlands and Scandinavian countries have controlled MRSA for many years in their healthcare facilities by screening and isolating patients. It continues to be unclear why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not adapted and strongly recommended this evidence-based approach, ADI (active detection and isolation) decades ago and now with 300 evidence-based studies (including the incredible success of the VA System Nationwide and many other hospitals and healthcare systems) proving ADI is effective in reducing MRSA infections along with being cost effective.

ADI – Active detection and Isolation vs New MRSA Decolonization Study

A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) by Huang et al. found that universal decolonization (with intranasal mupiricin and chlorhexidine bathes) reduced all pathogen caused bloodstream infections (BSI) and MRSA clinical cultures (but not MRSA – BSI). Subsequently, Dr. Lance R. Peterson, a 2007 recipient of the Eisenberg Patient Safety award and Director of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, IL who has controlled MRSA at his institutions through the use of ADI, re-examined his own data and compared the results with the recent NEJM article. He stated, "Our team appreciated all the hard work done by the researchers in the recent NEJM publication on using universal decolonization to control MRSA. We looked at our last thirty-eight months of ICU infection data that includes 55,350 patients in ICUs of our four hospital systems to compare our data to the news study results (our and their hospitals are very similar). Using screening and targeting isolation, we experienced a seven times lower (better) all clinical MRSA isolate (infection) result than they did, a 3.6 times lower (better) all cause blood stream infection rate then they reported, and a thirty-three times lower (better) MRSA blood stream infection rate than they achieved with their best intervention (decolonization of everyone) – all at lower cost per patient than the $40.00 quoted in this new report. We continue to believe that doing the best intervention for each particular infection control problem is more effective and less costly than trying to do the single same intervention for every problem." NorthShore University HealthSystem has been screening and isolating (ADI) patients for MRSA since 2005.

If one examines the Huang et al. study carefully, it is apparent that the intervention did not significantly reduce MRSA-BSIs, but did reduce "skin-commensal" – BSIs, mostly coagulase-negative Staphylococci, a pathogen that is much less virulent than MRSA.

MRSA Survivors Network founder Jeanine Thomas adds, "All state legislators in the U.S. who have not introduced and passed MRSA screening laws should do so in their next legislative session to help save the lives of their constituents."

5th Anniversary for World MRSA Day – Global MRSA & C. diff Summit

The Fifth Annual World MRSA Day Kickoff Event and Global MRSA & C. diff Summit will be held Saturday, September 28, 2013 at the Hinsdale Community House in Hinsdale, IL from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. and open to the public – free admission and parking. The 2013 global theme is "The MRSA Epidemic – A Call to Action."

Keynote Speaker is Dr. William R. Jarvis of Jason & Jarvis Associates LLC, formerly with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a leading MRSA expert and infectious disease specialist. Dr. Michael Pulia from the University of Wisconsin/Madison will speak on community-acquired MRSA. Mr. Rob Stafford, evening news anchor for NBC5 Chicago is the emcee and Reverend Henry Soles, senior chaplain of the Chicago Bulls basketball team will officiate during the Remembrance Ceremony. MRSA survivors and their families will share their personal stories to help others understand the impact preventable MRSA infections have on them and their families. The event will commence with a balloon release for attendees.

Sponsors: Pfizer and media sponsor NBC5 Chicago.

Award Ceremony

2013 award recipients are: Dr. Lance R. Peterson of NorthShore University HealthSystem – "Person of the Year" award; NorthShore University HealthSystem – "Hospital Leader" award;  Mr. Rob Stafford of NBC5 Chicago – "Man of the Year" award and Bethany Burke of Austin, TX  - "MRSA Youth Champion" award.

Bethany Burke, a student at Hyde Park High School in Austin, TX and a survivor of community-acquired MRSA conducted a fundraising campaign for MRSA and helped to raise awareness by making her own impressive video. She is a shining example of what one young person can do in their community and we commend her commitment to the MRSA cause. Visit her online campaign at

First Annual RRA Raise MRSA Awareness 5k Walk

September 14, 2013 from 10 a.m.2 p.m. at the Smedley Park, Springfield, PA Contact Jennifer Letts for more info at: mailto:Aydinsmommy19@gmail.comLmao  

Events and programs will be held in other U.S. cities and worldwide with MRSA Action UK participating in the U.K. events. Plan your event now!

Posters, brochures and banners can be downloaded at and a public service announcement (PSA) by True Productions will air on NBC Chicago stations and can also be viewed on MRSA Survivors Network YouTube Channel and websites.

Co-chairs of the Chicago event: Illinois State Rep. Patti Bellock, Pat Merryweather–Telligen and Jeanine Thomas. Honorary Co-chairs: Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, IL Republican Leader Christine Radogno, IL State Senator Heather Steans and IL State Rep. Sandra Pihos.

MRSA Action UK Annual Memorial at Westminster Abbey - June 12, 2013

The annual memorial event is to remember those who have suffered or lost their life to MRSA or HAIs. The event begins at 12:00 p.m. at Westminster Abbey and a reception follows at the City of Westminster Archives Centre from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. For more info contact: MRSA Action UK and MRSA Survivors Network have been alliance partners since 2008 and are global leaders in the fight for MRSA.

Join MRSA Survivors Network Recycling Program

Help raise awareness for MRSA and prevent MRSA deaths. Recycle your small electronics through our program with Planet Green and also save the environment. For details visit:

Founder Jeanine Thomas is a survivor of MRSA sepsis and complicating C. diff and is a conference speaker and conducts webinars. She recently spoke at the Institute for Drug Resistance (University of Massachusetts Medical School) workshop and conducted a webinar for the Ohio Nurses Association.

For information on how you can become a corporate sponsor for World MRSA Day, donate (sponsorships and donations are tax deductible), volunteer or get involved to make a difference, contact us at: 630 325-4354,, and at

SOURCE MRSA Survivors Network