A recent study on Medical News Today has shown that the use of antibacterial soaps and ointments may lower the risk of an infection caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA in hospital patients.

MRSA are bacteria that cause infections which are difficult to treat due to their resistance to several kinds of antibiotics.

Researchers from the University of California, Irvine, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Hospital Corporation of America, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, worked with 74,256 hospital patients, 72 of whom were confined in ICUs. They then assessed three prevention practices to see which would be the most effective against the infection. Researchers established routine care, provided antibacterial soap and ointment to patients with MRSA, and gave antibacterial soap and ointment to all ICU patients.

The results showed that although routine care did not have any significant effects on MRSA infection rates, giving antibacterial soaps and ointments to MRSA patients contributed to the 23 percent drop in infections. However, giving them to all ICU patients showed a higher 37 percent drop in MRSA infections and a 44 percent drop in bloodstream infections.

This highlights the importance of regular handwashing using germ killing soaps in or out of the hospital. This habit may not only lower the chances of developing MRSA, but it may also lower the risk of respiratory infections and diarrhea in children.

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(Photo by Italian Voice via Flickr Creative Commons)
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