A quick post on the latest study published in the above New England Journal of Medicine on the effectiveness of chlorhexidine soap on the decolonization of MRSA in hospitals.
1. Investigating if targeted decolonization or universal decolonization are more effective in hospitals.
Why hospitals? Hospitals is one of the common areas where staph bacteria S. aureus strive, due to it being a confined area with patients with infection. Read Dr Clay’s Q&A #2 to avoid hospitals if your child has eczema.
What’s the big deal of MRSA decolonization?
MRSA is a big deal, because it is a particular strain of staph bacteria that is resistant to commonly prescribed antibiotics such as methicillin, floxacillin, lactamase-resistant pencillin and amoxicillin. This puts the patient at a high risk of complications from MRSA infection that cannot be promptly treated. Read this post to understand MRSA. It is a big deal for eczema patients because staph bacteria colonization is common on eczema skin, and thus poses the risk of MRSA infection.
The study from 3 hospitals (including 74 ICUs and 74,256 patients) showed that universal decolonization is more effective than targeted. Which means – eliminate the need to screen patients for MRSA, but instead have all ICU patients use chlorhexidine soap and mupirocin ointment. What’s chlorhexidine? A chemical that can kill stap bacteria – implications for eczema?
3. Implications for Eczema?
I think it reinforces the active washing with chlorhexidine reduces bacteria infection. I always wipe my child’s eczema skin with chlorhexidine, to remove staph. Staph promotes skin inflammation, read more here, and here on how resistant Staph is.