Over the past two years, inpatients at hundreds of U.S. hospitals contracted MRSA twice as often, and sometimes three times as often, what federal health officials had predicted would occur, writes Newsweek. The same was true for bloodstream infections transmitted by catheters inserted into patients’ major veins, according to new hospital-level data shared exclusively with Newsweek by The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit watchdog focused on patient safety.
The average risk of hospital-acquired MRSA and bloodstream infections both reached a five-year high during the pandemic, and they remain elevated. Research suggests COVID-19 patients are more susceptible to infection in the hospital. Healthcare experts also fear staffing shortages have undermined the consistency of procedures to sanitize medical equipment such as catheters and surgical instruments. A simple lapse in judgment, such as a caregiver forgetting to wash hands, can cause disaster.