Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Ohio EMS providers: A statewide cross-sectional study
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among Ohio EMS personnel randomly sampled from 84 urban and rural agencies. Surveys assessing demographics, occupational history, health, cohabitation status, and hygiene practices were collected with nasal swabs from those who enrolled. Survey weight adjusted analysis was performed (1) to estimate MRSA nasal carriage prevalence of Ohio EMS providers in 2010, and (2) to identify variables associated with MRSA.
Results: MRSA was detected in 4.6% (13/280) EMS personnel sampled. By applying survey weights to account for differential selection, it was estimated that 1,965 Ohio EMS providers were MRSA carriers. After employing the survey weights, factors associated with MRSA carriage were: those who did not practice frequent hand hygiene after glove use (odds ratio [OR], 10.51 [95% Confidence Interval (CI), 2.54 - 43.45]; P< 0.01), living with someone with a recent staphylococcal infection (OR, 9.02 [95% CI, 1.03-78.98]; P=0.05), and individuals with low frequency of hand washing (OR, 4.20 [95% CI, 1.02 -17.27]; P=0.05).
Conclusion: The prevalence of MRSA in Ohio EMS personnel is both an occupational hazard and patient safety concern. Implementing methods to reinforce CDC guidelines for proper hygiene could decrease MRSA found in the EMS setting. Previous literature suggests that a reduction in MRSA colonization can lead to decreases in transmission and improved health for both patients and personnel.
B. Lu, None
S. Anderson, None
K. Stevenson, None