October 26, 2007
Checking for Staph Infection "Superbug" Could Be Effective
It's not exactly shocking news that testing incoming hospital patients for the "superbug" version of staph could be highly effective, but the article is interesting nonetheless to hear one explanation as to why that's not become the standard of care.
Yet few U.S. hospitals do it, and many fight efforts to require it. Jeanine Thomas, who nearly died from the drug-resistant staph bug, says the reason is simple: "Doctors don't want to be told what to do."
The Chicago suburbanite's personal crusade led Illinois this year to become the first state to order testing of all high-risk hospital patients and isolation of those who carry the staph germ called MRSA.
Powerful doctor groups fought against it. The testing and isolation of patients would be too costly, they said. Many other germs plague hospitals that also require attention. Experts said a more proven approach would focus on better hand washing by hospital staff — a simple measure tough to enforce.
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