Does Wearing Gloves, Gowns in ICU Cut MRSA, VRE?

(HealthDay News) – Wearing gloves and gowns for all patient contact in the intensive care unit (ICU) is not associated with a significant decrease in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) acquisition compared with usual care, according to a study published online Oct. 4 in the Journal of the American Medical Association to coincide with presentation at the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDWeek), held from Oct. 2–6 in San Francisco.

Anthony D. Harris, MD, MPH, from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues conducted a cluster-randomized trial in 20 ICUs to examine whether wearing gloves and gowns for all patient contact in the ICU is associated with a reduction in acquisition of MRSA or VRE compared with usual care.

A total of 92,241 swabs were collected from 26,180 patients. The researchers observed a decrease in the primary outcome of acquisition of MRSA or VRE, from 21.35 acquisitions per 1,000 patient-days at baseline to 16.91 in the intervention ICUs, compared with a decrease from 19.02 to 16.29 acquisitions per 1,000 patient days in control ICUs (difference in changes, P=0.57). There were significantly fewer MRSA acquisitions in the intervention ICUs, but no difference in VRE acquisitions.

“Health care workers wearing gloves and gowns for all ICU patient contact did not reduce the composite primary outcome of VRE or MRSA acquisition,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, medical device, and medical technology industries.

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