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Patients screened for MSSA bug on arrival

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Screening has begun at a hospital in Blackpool in a bid to cut down on the number of MSSA infections.

Patients at the Blackpool Victoria Hospital will be tested for Meticillin-Sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) upon their arrival, and given the results within two hours.

Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Hospitals Foundation Trust said a similar screening programme for MRSA two years ago led to an 80% fall in the number of infections.

All patients admitted as emergencies will be tested after the hospital’s screening programme began this week.

The trust said it was important to test the patients for MSSA as early as possible so optimum treatment could start.

And it added the MSSA testing would improve the overall quality of care to the patient.

MSSA is a bacteria that lives on the skin or in the noses of about one in three people.

While it is normally harmless, it could lead to a serious infection, such as septicaemia, if it enters the body.

Dr Nick Harper, director of infection prevention, said: “We are delighted that we are now able to introduce this very important infection prevention programme for MSSA.

“It has worked extremely well for MRSA where we have seen massive reductions in these infections.

“MSSA is around five times more common than MRSA so we are hoping to see an even greater impact for a much bigger group of patients.

“Hospital infections are one of the biggest areas of public concern. Patients can be reassured that eliminating hospital acquired infections is a key priority for the trust.”

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