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An NHS trust has eliminated MRSA infections after introducing a simple prescription technique for intravenous injections.
Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust has begun prescribing the insertion of cannulae – a small tube used for giving intravenous fluids.
This means doctors use the tube only when absolutely necessary and are able to monitor them closely for signs of infection.
The cannulae are prescribed only by specialists trained in their insertion and they are signed off by a doctor. Once in, the cannula is flushed with a saline solution and inspected on a daily basis.
A scorecard is then used to regularly rate its appearance and spot any irregularities or signs of infection.
The trust had 11 MRSA bloodstream infections – one under the maximum level of 12 deemed acceptable in 2007/08. Four of these cases were believed to have been cannula-related.
Since the introduction of the new system in November, there have been no new cases of MRSA at the trust, which runs the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester and the Andover War Memorial Hospital.
And the trust believes that if the same practice was adopted nationwide by the NHS, MRSA levels would drop dramatically.
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