Fight MRSA - International MRSA Testing Week

Mar 17, 2015, 10:40 ET from MRSA Survivors Network

CHICAGO, March 17, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "MRSA is the number one problem (a medical error) in U.S. healthcare facilities and greatly under reported," states Jeanine Thomas, founder and national spokesperson for MRSA Survivors Network.

Last year, admission of patients with Ebola virus infections in U.S. healthcare facilities revealed that they were not prepared, lacked sufficient infection control protocols, and training which has been evident in epidemic levels of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) in U.S. hospitals for decades. MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is the antibiotic resistant bacterium that has been a secret and silent killer in healthcare facilities and is at epidemic levels worldwide. High MRSA infection rates continue to fuel the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) global public health crisis: causing preventable deaths, pain and suffering and leaving many patients permanently disabled.

International MRSA Testing Week, April 1-7th is a global awareness campaign and its slogan, "Prevention Saves Lives," draws critical attention for the need of healthcare facilities to screen upon admission high-risk patients and continue a surveillance program along with isolating of patients that are found positive with MRSA, strict adherence to hand hygiene with thoroughly decontaminating rooms and frequently touched surfaces throughout the facility. Active detection and isolation (ADI) – screening and isolating MRSA-colonized or infected patients saves lives.

MRSA Survivors Network has produced a PSA for Int'l MRSA Testing Week (by True Productions) with Mr. Rob Stafford of NBC Chicago and is airing on MRSA Survivors Network website and YouTube channel. You can see the PSA at:  

Sponsors: Roche, PurThread and Xenex.

An International MRSA Testing Week poster and flyer along with a brochure for the public, "Living with MRSA" can be downloaded at

The Veteran's Administration has implemented ADI – including screening for MRSA in their 150 health facilities in 2007. Among VA patients in intensive care units (ICU) between 2007 and 2012, health care-acquired MRSA infection rates dropped 72 percent - from 1.64 to 0.46 per 1,000 patient days. Among non-ICU patients, MRSA infection rates dropped 66 percent - from 0.47 to 0.16 per 1,000 patient days - VA MRSA Study in NEJM. In 2009, the VA implemented their "MRSA Prevention Initiative" nationwide in all 133 VA long-term care facilities, which lead to a 36 percent overall decrease in MRSA infections (from .25 to .16/1000 resident days) over a 42-month study period, despite the fact that admission of patients with MRSA-colonization increased.

Over the past several years, some have argued that Chlorhexidine bathing can replace use of ADI – screening and isolation of MRSA-colonized or infected patients. A recent randomized clinical trial, "Chlorhexidine Bathing and Health Care –Associated Infections" by Michael J. Noto, et al. concluded that daily bathing of critically ill patients with chlorhexidine did not reduce the incidence of HAIs. Furthermore, randomized controlled trials of Chlorhexidine bathing of ICU patients by Climo et al. and Huang et al. did not document a statistically significant decrease in MRSA bloodstream infections.

If we are to really believe in patient safety, all healthcare facilities worldwide with endemic MRSA should fully implement ADI as Northern European countries have done successfully; some for decades. High MRSA infection rates are fueling the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) global public health crisis.

In the era of paying for performance, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (including the CDC) should be mandating that if ADI works to prevent and control MRSA in 150 VA hospitals, that all U.S. hospitals should implement the same program, reducing MRSA rates, reducing costs and saving lives.

The World Health Organization (WHO) must finally recognize the MRSA epidemic and set up a worldwide MRSA surveillance and reporting system. Such a system would facilitate the collection of data on MRSA infections and colonization with a public release of such data on a designated website. This would illustrate the true magnitude of the MRSA epidemic worldwide and public health crisis and also facilitate the implementation of ADI.

World MRSA Day, October 2 and World MRSA Awareness Month, October

The Seventh Annual World MRSA Day Kickoff Event and Global Clostridium difficile Summit will be held Saturday, September 26, 2015 from 10:30am12:30pm at the Community House in Hinsdale, Illinois.  Mr. Rob Stafford, evening news anchor for NBC Chicago is the emcee and Dr. William R. Jarvis of Jason & Jarvis Associates, LLC is Keynote Speaker.

Gold Sponsor: Roche and media sponsor NBC5 Chicago.

Other events and programs will be held in other U.S. cities, with MRSA Action UK (MRSA Survivors Network's alliance partner since 2008) and other countries throughout the month of October.

MRSA Survivors Network was founded in 2003 and was the first patient advocacy organization to raise the alarm concerning MRSA, healthcare-acquired infections (HAI's) and antimicrobial resistance in the United States and operates the only U.S. MRSA Crisis Hotline (630 325-4354).

For information on how you can become a corporate sponsor for World MRSA Day, donate, volunteer or get involved, contact us at: 630 325-4354, and


SOURCE MRSA Survivors Network