Some Kids' Surgery Should Include Staph Screening: Study

MONDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Screening and treatment for antibiotic-resistant bacteria benefits children undergoing open-airway surgery, according to a new study.

After open-airway surgery, infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus can be a "devastating complication," so the development and use of an MRSA-screening and treatment regimen is essential, according to background information in the study.

The researchers analyzed 197 open-airway operations conducted on children from January 2007 to March 2009 at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

The overall prevalence of MRSA in the patients was 32.5 percent, but there were no MRSA-associated postoperative infections in patients who received antibiotics before, during and after surgery. That finding is consistent with previous studies.

The study appears in the February issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

"In view of our results, we advise instituting MRSA screening and treatment protocols in patients undergoing airway surgery," Dr. Melissa McCarty Statham, of Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and colleagues said in a journal news release.

-- Robert Preidt

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SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, Feb. 17, 2012