2008 Was the Year of MRSA Headlines

It’s been a lively year for infection prevention issues and news, hasn’t it? As my final editor’s letter for 2008, I thought I’d take a look at what made news this year. It’s no surprise that MRSA continued to make the headlines, as did a number of outbreaks associated with hospital and clinic care, as well as in the community (a most recent example is the MRSA infections among NFL players and other professional athletes). In my quest to deliver to ICT readers their daily ration of news, I’ve posted thousands of stories to our Web site this year, and I can tell you definitely have a nose for (MRSA) news. That topic appeared in nearly half of the top news items we posted to our Web site this year! So, without further ado, here are the most popular news items from 2008, in order of your click-throughs:

1. Aug. 8: CMS Adds SSIs to List of “Do-Not-Pay” Conditions

2. Sept. 15: Is Re-Emerging Superbug the Next MRSA?

3. Feb. 29: 40,000 Patients May Have Been Exposed to Hepatitis C

4. Sept. 22: Hand Hygiene Habits Remain Stagnant

5. Oct. 28: Researchers Downplay MRSA Screening as Effective Infection Control Intervention

6. Oct. 6: New Study: Disinfectants Can Make Bacteria Resistant to Treatment

7. July 2: Being an MRSA Carrier Increases Risk of Infection and Death

8. Oct. 8: Science-Based Strategies Take Aim at HAIs

9. Sept. 8: Study Reveals Promising Method for Reducing MRSA Infections in Hospital ICUs

10. June 4: MRSA Caused Pneumonia Deaths During 2006-2007 Flu Season in Young, Healthy People

11. Sept. 8: Will New Dress Code for UK Doctors Cut Infection Rates?

12. Sept. 23: Key Ways to Measure Drug-Resistant Infections in Healthcare

13. April 28: Humans May Lose Battle with Bacteria, Medicinal Chemist’s Research Shows

14. April 8: The ‘Zero’ Mentality: Is it Good for Infection Control?

15. March 11: MRSA Screening at Hospital Does Not Appear to Reduce Infection Rate

16. July 11: APIC Announces New Name for Infection Control Profession

17. March 28: Nursing Shortage About to Take a Turn for the Worse

18. March 31: MRSA in Hospital Intensive Care Units ... What’s Growing Where?

19. May 12: APIC Issues Recommendations on Infection Prevention in Long-Term Care Facilities

20. March 18: More States Move to Require Hospitals to Screen Patients for MRSA

Just to show how much MRSA dominated 2008, here are two more items:

21. June 17: Poll Shows Increased Efforts by Hospitals to Control MRSA Infections

22. July 29: UCSF Study Shows Sharp National Rise in Skin Infections, MRSA Suspected

Here’s wishing you a peaceful and fulfilling end to 2008, as well as increased budgets and resources for 2009!

P.S... In the time since this editor’s letter was printed, a few more headlines went off the charts in terms of click-throughs: 

CDC Issues New Disinfection and Sterilization Guideline


APIC Releases Results of C. diff Prevalence Study


Hospital Superbugs on the Rise Despite Prevention Efforts, Study Shows


Objects Closest to Patients are Most Contaminated, Survey Finds


Handwashing Policies in Place but Monitoring Hand Hygiene Remains a Challenge

Until next month, bust those bugs!

Kelly M. Pyrek

Editor in Chief