MRSA – the public health disaster that kills more Americans every year than AIDS
CHICAGO, March 31, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- MRSA Survivors Network urgently pleads with the Society of Healthcare Epidemiologists of America (SHEA) along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to finally declare MRSA an ongoing epidemic during SHEA's April 1- 4, 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting in Dallas, TX. They should finally recognize this public health disaster by acknowledging the enormous and growing scientific evidence (>300 studies) that support active detection and isolation (ADI) for the control of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and mandate implementation of ADI in all U.S. healthcare facilities immediately.
The U.S. Veteran's Administration hospital systems have taken the lead by implementing ADI for MRSA first in their intensive care units, now hospital-wide and in their long-term care facilities. This intervention has resulted in a significant reduction in MRSA infections, saved many lives and saved hospitals money. So why does SHEA, CDC and the department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) continue with inaction, failure to lead or implement evidence-based, proven prevention interventions for MRSA as more Americans continue to be infected, disabled or die in U.S. healthcare facilities?
Jeanine Thomas, a prominent global leader and founder of the Chicago-based MRSA Survivors Network states, "When will infection control organizations, CDC, DHHS and the World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledge the MRSA epidemic and take action as Northern European countries have for decades with implementing ADI and public awareness programs?"
Recent data from the CDC estimates that the central line-associated bloodstream infection rates in intensive care units (ICUs) nationwide have decreased 59%. The organism with the largest decline was MRSA. This is most likely the result of hospitals, like the VA system, initiating ADI for MRSA control in their ICUs. The CDC and DHHS should mandate this in all ICUs and for all high risk patients hospital-wide. MRSA bloodstream infections account for only 10% of the total number of MRSA infections with surgical site infections being the vast majority.
The third annual World MRSA Day kickoff event in Chicago will be held October 1, 2011 at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine with emcee Rob Stafford of NBC Chicago and Keynote Speaker Dr. William Jarvis of Jason & Jarvis LLC, a world-renowned MRSA expert and infectious disease specialist, formerly with the CDC. The annual world-class event brings the community and healthcare professionals together to raise awareness and encourages prevention, detection and treatment. The event will begin with a Remembrance Ceremony in memory of all those who have lost their life to MRSA.
2011 sponsors are: StaphAseptic, Roche, Pfizer and Loyola University Health Systems with media sponsor NBC Chicago.
The 2011 Global Theme, 'The MRSA Epidemic – A Call to Action' brings critical attention to the global threat of MRSA, healthcare-acquired infections and antimicrobial resistance with the dire need for global public awareness and educational programs. MRSA activists call for world unity and for MRSA to become a top political priority.
MRSA Survivors Network urges community and faith-based organizations, healthcare facilities, governments, schools and individuals to organize an event on World MRSA Day, October 2 or during the month of October. 2011 marks the discovery of MRSA fifty years ago by professor Patricia Jevons of the U.K. on October 2, 1961, and the bacterium has spread worldwide and now is the largest multidrug-resistant organism health threat. MRSA strains have been found in farm animals and in food products.
Students and activists are currently planning events at U.S. universities and events will be held in Salt Lake City and MRSA Missions (a faith-based organization) will be holding an event in Altamont, Illinois. MRSA Action UK, MRSA Survivors Network's alliance partner, will be organizing events in the U.K.
MRSA Survivors Network was the first patient advocacy organization in the U.S. to raise the alarm about MRSA and healthcare-acquired infections. They launched World MRSA Day, Oct. 2 and World MRSA Awareness Month, October in 2009 as an annual remembrance to the disease that is sweeping the globe. Founder Jeanine Thomas is a survivor of MRSA sepsis and C. difficile.