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Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Stafford Hospital’s streak ends at 738

Stafford Hospital went 738 days without a MRSA infection.

Stafford Hospital’s long run of infection-free days has ended.

A Stafford patient acquired a MRSA infection on March 28. It was the second time since the hospital opened in February 2009 that one of its patients had acquired the bacterium while there. The hospital went 738 consecutive days, or more than two years, between events.

“It is almost unheard of nationally for a hospital to go 738 days without a hospital-acquired MRSA infection,” said Dr. Amy Adome, vice president for quality and patient safety for Mary Washington Healthcare, in a statement. “There are times such infections will occur despite clinicians’ and hospitals’ best efforts.”

Adome declined to provide details about the incident, citing patient privacy. She said the hospital staff has “debriefed” the event, to learn from it.

The hospital attributes its success to an obsession with hand-washing, asking staff members to wash their hands before each patient contact. Adome has said that MRSA, or methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, infections are largely preventable if a few simple precautions, like hand-washing, are consistently applied.

Because of its streak, Stafford Hospital will receive a 2010 Annual Award from VHA, a national hospital association. Stafford is one of 16 hospitals that will be recognized by the association at its Central Atlantic Executive Educational Retreat in June in Williamsburg. One criterion for the award was that a hospital was MRSA-free in 2010.

Adome said that Stafford hopes to begin another long streak of MRSA-free days. Today its new streak stands at 23.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/rapidassessment/2011/04/20/staffords-streak-ends-at-738-days/

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