CHICAGO, March 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- MRSA Survivors Network, a global leader in raising awareness for the MRSA epidemic launches International MRSA Testing Week, April 1-7th with the support of their alliance partner MRSA Action UK. International MRSA Testing Week is an annual designated observance for active detection (screening) for MRSA colonization of high risk patients upon admission to a healthcare facility. The global awareness week draws attention for the urgent need also for healthcare and community facilities to clean and decontaminate the environment and to increase surveillance and testing for MRSA in livestock worldwide.
"MRSA and antimicrobial resistance needs to be a top political priority worldwide," states Jeanine Thomas Founder of MRSA Survivors Network.
MRSA Survivors Network has produced a public service announcement (PSA) with Mr. Rob Stafford of NBC Chicago and will air on NBC Chicago stations in March and viewed on MRSA Survivors Network's YouTube channel and website. An International MRSA Testing Week poster along with a new brochure for the public, "Living with MRSA" can be downloaded at http://www.MRSAsurvivors.org. 2012 corporate sponsor – Roche.
The 2012 global theme for International MRSA Testing Week and World MRSA Day is 'The MRSA Epidemic – A Call to Action' which brings critical attention to the global public health crisis. MRSA Survivors Network and MRSA Action UK urgently pleas for the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations (UN), the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to finally recognize the MRSA epidemic and set up a worldwide MRSA surveillanceand 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 facilitate the implementation of active detection and isolation (ADI) – specifically active screening for MRSA in high-risk patients or universal testing to control MRSA in healthcare facilities worldwide.
Derek Butler, Chairman of MRSA Action UK says, "The only requisite for bacteria to spread is that good people do nothing."
Recent multi-center studies (the VA study published in the New England Journal of Medicine) at the Veteran's Administration (150 hospitals) and throughout the HCA system have yet again documented that through implementation of ADI, MRSA rates can dramatically reduce, not just in intensive care units, but hospital-wide. If we are to really believe in patient safety, all healthcare facilities with endemic MRSA should fully implement ADI. 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 and in many Northern European countries (some for decades), that all U.S. hospitals should implement the same program, reducing MRSA rates, improving patient safety and most importantly, saving lives. It is unclear why the CDC continues to not strongly recommend ADI and why a broad public awareness campaign for MRSA has not been implemented.
"In the United States MRSA victims are losing their jobs, homes, becoming permanently disabled and many do not have health insurance - we need federal and state social services to help MRSA patients," says Jeanine Thomas whose organization operates the only MRSA crisis hotline in the United States.
MRSA Action UK have successfully campaigned for many years to have a universal screening program implemented for all elective and emergency admissions entering their healthcare system for MRSA and this has, as part of a comprehensive infection control system brought infections such as MRSA down dramatically. The key to the success of the universal screening program is that all hospitals within the UK have, and are using the same screening program.
The UK has not stopped there however, they now routinely screen for other bacteria such as MSSA and E-coli and they publish weekly infection rates in hospitals throughout England pushing back the boundaries in an open approach to highlight success and failures in controlling bacteria. The universal screening program forms part of a more comprehensive infection control system that has brought success to reducing infection rates throughout the UK.
World MRSA Day, October 2 and World MRSA Awareness Month, October
The fourth annual World MRSA Day Kickoff Event will be held Saturday, September 29, 2012 in Chicago with NBC Chicago as media sponsor and Mr. Rob Stafford, evening news anchor as emcee. Dr. William R. Jarvis is the recipient of the "Humanitarian Award." Other events and programs will be held in other U.S. cities and in the U.K. throughout the month of October.
MRSA Survivors Network, founded in 2003 was the first patient advocate to raise the alarm concerning MRSA and healthcare-acquired infections (HAI's) in the United States. A U.S. Senate resolution (S.R. 301) designating World MRSA Day passed in 2009 and a resolution by U.S. Rep. Biggert that includes International MRSA Testing Week is being introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.