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Wednesday 20th June 2018

Nurses at Bristol Trust help cut MRSA rates

4th August 2009

Nurses at Bristol Royal Infirmary have reduced the rate of MRSA in people who inject drugs.


The team was introduced in April 2007 and was intended to offer more help to people who used drugs.

After it was found that many cases of MRSA came into the hospital because of addicts who injected drugs, the team became responsible for controlling infection.

During January to April 2007 there were 10 cases of MRSA in drug patients. However, once the new team were introduced, this dropped to nine cases for the entire duration of 2008.

To date in 2009 there has only been one case of the superbug in a patient who injected drugs.

The nurses ensure that patients who are treated at the hospital are made aware of how to prevent MRSA, keep hands clean and prevent infections.

They have also brought in chlorhexadine wipes for needle exchanges and set up "deep cleans" at hostels.

"Hospitalisation was felt to be an often missed opportunity to engage difficult to reach substance misusing patients who often suffer from health access inequalities due to having no or temporary housing, rough sleeping, and lack of GP and primary care service access," said Sally Lewis, one of three drug specialist nurses who works at the trust.

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