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MRSA ‘could be treated at home’

7th January 2008

In some cases people with the infection MRSA could be treated at home with antibiotics, a new report claims today.

Currently patients with a healthcare associated infection (HCAI) such as MRSA stay in hospital for an average 11 days longer than those without infection.

It is estimated that about ?1 billion a year is spent treating HCAIs, with a large proportion of this amount due to increased length of hospitalisation.

A collaboration of doctors argue today in the MRSA: Separating Fact From Fiction report, released by the National Concern for Healthcare Infections (NCHI), that MRSA cases could be treated at home if appropriate treatment is available and the patient has no other medical reason for staying in hospital.

Treatment could either be given through antibiotic injections during regular visits from nurses of through oral antibiotics which are effective against MRSA.

The NCHI says that treating people in the community is unlikely to spread MRSA infection as it generally only infects through open wounds or IV (intravenous) lines.

Professor Mark Wilcox, professor of medical microbiology at the University of Leeds, said there are “multiple benefits” in treating people with MRSA at home “in terms of infection control, reducing NHS costs and resource use”.

“Many patients would also prefer to be discharged from hospital to be with their families while they finish their treatment, and they should be given that option, where possible,” he added.

Neil Manser of the NCHI commented: “Misconceptions around MRSA risk affecting public confidence in hospital treatment. In addition, out of sheer ignorance, many people who have been infected by MRSA have unjustly been made to feel ostracised.

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