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Beaumont Hospital patients were affected by ‘an unusual strain’ of MRSA last year

“In April 2015, Beaumont Hospital identified an unusual strain of MRSA (MR-MRSA). Some 39 patients were affected by this particular strain, which had a different antimicrobial resistance profile to the MRSA strains commonly identified in this country,” said a hospital spokesperson. “While resistant to the topical antibiotics used to clear carriage, it remained susceptible to the antimicrobial agents used for treatment.”

The hospital said it established an outbreak control team to implement a range of measures, as advised by the national guidelines.  These included communicating with affected patients, placing affected patients in isolation, additional patient screening, and extra cleaning and decontamination.

External advice was also sought from national experts to ensure that all appropriate measures had been taken.

The issue was discussed at the 30 April 2015 hospital board meeting. The minutes noted that, in conjunction with the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), a national alert had been issued to acute hospitals, “with recommendations on MRSA screening of patients transferred to Beaumont and to determine if this strain is present in other hospitals.

 “The alert has been circulated to all acute hospitals two weeks ago. To date, there has been no media attention. However, a press statement has been prepared in the event of media attention.”

A HSE spokesperson said there was no indication that any other hospital was affected.

In recent years, MRSA bloodstream infection numbers have decreased.

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