Author Interviews, Hand Washing, JAMA, MRSA / 07.10.2013

Anthony Harris, MD, MPH Department of Epidemiology and Public Health Professor University of Maryland School of Medicine Acting Medical Director of Infection Control University of Maryland Medical CenterMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anthony Harris, MD, MPH Department of Epidemiology and Public Health Professor University of Maryland School of Medicine Acting Medical Director of Infection Control University of Maryland Medical Center     MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Harris: The aim of the study was to understand if wearing disposable gowns and gloves for all patient contact in the ICU could help prevent the spread of MRSA and similar antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Secondarily we wanted to make sure this type of patient isolation did not result in any harm to patients. The results of the study were that gowns and gloves worn by healthcare workers for contact with all patients in the ICU did not decrease the number of patients who acquired VRE but did decrease MRSA about 40 percent.  Also, wearing gloves and gowns did not adversely impact patient care.  For our goal of studying all types of infection, we did not find a benefit to universal gown and glove use. However, for transmission of MRSA alone, the intervention decreased transmission by about 40 percent. Although previous studies have showed isolation is associated with falls, bed sores and other adverse events, we found gowns and gloves did not produce more of these negative events.