In "Staphylococcus Aureus Musculoskeletal Infections: A Changing Spectrum over the Past Decade," researchers studied pediatric patients with culture-positive
(MSSA), between January 2001 and June 2010, at a major urban children's hospital.
There were 148 cases of acute musculoskeletal Staphylococcus aureus
infection, including 111 MSSA and 37 MRSA, with the proportion of MRSA cases jumping from 9 percent in 2001 to 29 percent (three-fold) in 2010. The MRSA-infected patients had longer hospital stays (13 days vs. 8 days), multiple surgical procedures (38 percent vs. 15 percent), and higher levels of C-Reactive Protein, the body's acute immune response to injury and infection, (38 percent vs. 15 percent). Complications, including deep vein thrombosis, septic emboli and septic shock, recurrent infection, and/or avascular necrosis, or cell death, were more common in patients with MRSA than MSSA infections (22 percent vs. 6 percent).
"As MRSA infections rise, prompt recognition and aggressive treatment of MRSA musculoskeletal infections are critical to avoiding life-threatening complications, and improving patient outcomes," said lead study author Eric Sarkissian.
"Our findings support prior concern about the increased virulence of MRSA compared to MSSA infections," said Sarkissian. "Optimizing patient outcomes will require increased healthcare provider vigilance, early broad-spectrum antibiotic administration and aggressive surgical management."