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Dr. Papaconstantinou of White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas has studied the relationship between the presence of colonized nares with Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and the incidence of the type of the infection after a gastrointestinal surgery.
He studied 1137 patients. He compared the postoperative infection rate of patients that were positive for MRSA, Negative for MRSA and a third group that was Methicillin Sensitive Staphylococcus Aureus (MSSA). He found that the infection rate for MRSA group was 14%, the highest of all the groups. There was no correlation however when other risk factors were accounted for.
The most significant finding however was the type of the infection present in MRSA patients. With positive nasal swab for MRSA, the most common organism causing the wound infection was MRSA (70%). In patients that were MRSA negative for the nasal swabs, the rate of MRSA wound infection was low at only 8.5%.
An additional finding was that the finding of MRSA positive nasal swab was a predictor for prolonged hospitalization.
There was no reported difference in the postoperative death rate in the MRSA positive or negative group.
It is important, however, to remind ourselves that this is a single study and more studies are needed to look at these variables in different surgical procedures.
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