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Risk factors for acquisition of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) by trauma patients in the intensive care unit.

Marshall C, Wolfe R, Kossmann T, Wesselingh S, Harrington G, Spelman D

  • Journal The Journal of hospital infection

  • Published 08 Oct 2004

  • Volume 57

  • ISSUE 3

  • Pagination 245-52

  • DOI 10.1016/j.jhin.2004.03.024


In a previous study in the intensive care unit (ICU) of the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, it was demonstrated that trauma patients were at particular risk of becoming colonized by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). We examined risk factors for MRSA acquisition in these patients using a cohort study comparing the 31 patients who acquired MRSA with 65 who did not. Data collected included ICU length of stay (LOS), mechanism of trauma, site of injury, type of surgery, trauma severity and antibiotic usage. Odds ratios (OR) were determined and adjusted for LOS. LOS in the ICU was a significant univariate predictor of MRSA acquisition (OR 13.7). When adjusted for LOS, mechanism of trauma (OR 10.4), laparotomy (OR 6.3) and administration of ticarcillin/clavulanic acid (OR 4.5) or glycopeptides (OR 5.9) remained significant. We confirmed our previous finding that LOS was associated with MRSA acquisition. Receipt of antibiotics correlated with reported literature. Novel associations were road trauma as a mechanism and laparotomy.