Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality and the incidence of MRSA continues to increase. Hospitals have relied on three methods to prevent the spread of MRSA including better hand hygiene among health care workers, restriction of antibiotics, and the detection and isolation of infected patients.
For the study, researchers reviewed 46 previous studies that were done looking at reducing the spread of MRSA. Study authors say 18 of the studies used isolation wards, and 19 used other isolation methods. The studies were done poorly, however, and no conclusions could be drawn in a third of the studies. Six studies did provide stronger evidence. Four of them found isolation measures can reduce the spread of MRSA, while two others show isolation failed to prevent it.
Researchers say there is a need to study exactly how isolation measures should be used in the prevention of spreading MRSA in a hospital setting. Researchers conclude that despite the limitations of the current research, isolation measures recommended in national guidelines should continue until further research can be conducted.