Friday, 24 April 2009

Q & A: MRSA carriers & MRSA infected dialysis patients using patient transport

Q: We know that patients receiving dialysis via a line have a very high risk of MRSA infection. What advice or recommendations are there regarding the risk patients who are MRSA carriers or who have had MRSA infection posed for others who may be sharing their transport to and from the dialysis unit? Since patients in hospital with MRSA infections are segregated or cohorted, do you think the same arrangement should apply to transport?
Sarah Fatchett, Director of Operations, PTS

A: The risk of cross-infection from an MRSA colonised or infected patient to others in an ambulance is minimal. Good infection control practice and routine cleaning should suffice to prevent cross-infection.

The guidelines for MRSA in healthcare facilities does include sections on patient movement, cleaning and decontamination and other measures to minimise the risk of spread to other areas. This includes a section on transportation (page 7, second column).