The 5 October
issue of the MJA
includes three articles on bloodstream infections
caused by the bacterium, Staphylococcus aureus
, which is commonly known
as golden staph.
include the results of an observational study of 27 independent or hospital
pathology laboratories in Australia and New Zealand by Professor John Turnidge,
Director of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at SA Pathology, and
co-authors, which found that 20.6 per cent of patients diagnosed with Staphylococcus
bacteraemia (SAB) died within 30 days.
Collignon, Director of Infectious Diseases at Canberra Hospital, and Dr Marilyn
Cruickshank, of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care,
write in the editorial that Australia is facing a rapidly growing health
problem from methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus
reporting should be introduced to ensure all health care facilities start
collecting and acting on data about SAB infections," Prof Collignon said. We
need to ensure that in each hospital each case is looked at to try and
determine why it occurred. Then health professionals need to intervene at their
own local level to ensure policies are implemented or changed to reduce infection
such as compliance with hand washing and improved care of intravenous catheters
can lead to major reductions in SAB infection rates."
and his co-authors write that a national web-based surveillance of SAB and its
outcomes should be established.
Professor Paul Johnson, Deputy Director of the Infectious Diseases Department
at Austin Health in Melbourne, and his co-authors report on a program that made
health care-related Staphylococcus aureus
bacteraemia a quality
indicator at Austin Health.
Prof Johnson said the program resulted in a 55
per cent reduction in hospital-acquired Staphylococcus aureus
probably preventing 80 costly and potentially fatal infections.