The fact that a hospital patient may be an MRSA carrier is not a reason to delay discharge.
That’s according to the HSE West. It was replying to a question posed by the health authority’s Regional Health Forum West chairperson Cllr Tomas Mannion.
The Ballinasloe county councillor wanted to know if there was a policy in place to test patients for the hospital superbug MRSA prior to admission to hospital.
“While it may not be possible to do this in all circumstances attempts should be made to reduce the risk of infection,” he said. “Also how many beds are occupied by patients with MRSA that could otherwise be available for other patients?”
In a written reply the HSE West said there is a policy on selective screening for MRSA on admission to hospital which is consistent with the advice contained in the national SARI [Infection Control Sub-Committe 2005], and the Control and Prevention of MRSA in hospitals and in the community.
“Policies to reduce the risk of spread of infection are in place for all patients with specific additional measures for patients with known colonization or infection with MRSA.
“Patients do not stay in hospital just because they have a positive test for MRSA and carrying MRSA is not a reason to delay discharge. Patients with serious infection with any type of bacteria may need hospitalisation until their clinical condition improves. They can go home when well even if they are still positive for MRSA.”