A team of researchers have recommended guidelines for staph bacteria that may decrease the infection rate by 71 percent.
The first of the three steps that have been recommended are that a patients nose should be swabbed for two strains of staph Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) before surgery.
Secondly, for the 30 percent patients who have staph naturally in their noses, a anti-bacterial nose ointment should be applied in the days before surgery.
Thirdly, at surgery an antibiotic specifically for MRSA should be given to the patients who have the MRSA strain in their noses; for all others, a more general antibiotic should be given.
The recommendations come from the team's review of 39 studies of various surgical-site infection practices employed at hospitals nationwide.
Many of the individual studies involved small patient samples, and thus were not statistically significant. By combining studies with similar treatment practices and analyzing the outcomes from other studies with different treatments, the University of Iowa led team found a best approach and a large enough sample to make it statistically significant.
The paper has been published on Thursday in the British Medical Journal.