Hospital MRSA screening saves lives

Jan. 31, 2013 at 1:27 PM

CHICAGO, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- A Chicago-area hospital is using advanced technology to screen all inpatients for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a U.S. physician says.

Loyola is one of only two hospitals in Illinois to use the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved FilmArray Respiratory Panel, which screens for 17 viral and three bacterial pathogens in about 60 minutes.

Dr. Jorge Parada -- professor of medicine and medical director of the Infection Prevention and Control program at Loyola University Health System -- said faster results can improve patient management, limit the spread of the infection and reduce overall healthcare costs.

"Loyola is truly a leader in infectious disease care and an early adopter of proven technology, like the respiratory panel, that saves time, saves money and most importantly, improves the health of our patients," Parada said in a statement.

Screening has enabled Loyola to prevent more than 200 cases of hospital-associated MRSA infections.

MRSA is a bacterium responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections in humans. It is especially troublesome in hospitals, prisons, schools and nursing homes, where patients with open wounds, invasive devices and weakened immune systems are at greater risk of infection than the general public.

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