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A Descriptive Study of the Emergence of MRSA Infections in Baker City, Oregon

1 August 2006


Background Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRS A) is a type of resistant staphylococcus bacteria. MRSA is a community and hospital acquired bacterial infection which has increased in numbers in the last several years. The drug of choice for MRSA infections in the hospital setting is vancomycin. Purpose of the Study The purpose of the study is to determine the incidence of MRSA in a small rural hospital, compare them to the national rates and assess the use of vancomycin in the same institution. Methods Chart review was done of vancomycin treated patients from 1998- 2005 at St. Elizabeth Hospital, Baker City, OR. Isolate susceptibility data at St. Elizabeth hospital was compared to national rates of resistance. Results From 1998-2005,90 cases of MRS A infections were documented at St. Elizabeth's hospital in Baker City, OR. The resistance rates increased by 400% in Baker City, OR from 1998-2003 and nationally resistance rates increased by 22%. All MRS A isolates were sensitive in vitro to vancomycin; however they were also susceptible to rifampin, erythromycin, tetracycline, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. The majority of patients treated with vancomycin were MSSA, then patients not cultured, and minimally MRSA cultured patients. The average age of patients treated with vancomycin was over the age of 50. Conclusion MRS A incidence has been increasing in Baker City as well as nationally. Vancomycin should be used more cautiously than it has been in the past 7 years in Baker City, OR.


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