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Preoperative Screening Reduces MRSA Infection In Otolaryngic Surgery

Postoperative infection rates with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in patients undergoing otolaryngic surgery is reduced by Preoperative screening and follow-up treatment. Postoperative MRSA infection rates of 179 preoperative screened patients were compared with those of 241 unscreened patients by Dr. Sara L. Richter and co-authors from Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston. Screening involved testing for S. aureus colonization from a nasal swab specimen. The MRSA-colonized patients were treated for 5 days before surgery with mupirocin ointment on the anterior nares and chlorhexidine wash. The findings appeared in the January issue of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. Nine patients had S. aureus infections including two with MRSA infections at the surgical site in non-screened group but in screened group 24 patients had S. aureus colonization and all were treated preoperatively. Postoperatively, none of the patients in the screened group developed a MRSA infection.The researchers conclude that preoperative screening and treatment of MRSA colonized patients may reduce infectious complications in otolaryngology.