MRSA Infection

Despite the recent improvement in preventing MRSA infection through improved cleanliness, the threat, particularly from airborne contamination, remains.

Helping to reduce MRSA infection through the use of high-performance air filtration units is a proven and trusted approach in the healthcare sector. 

Despite recent advances in HCAI infection reduction, air to surface contamination remains a major concern for preventing MRSA infection. Regardless of the efficiency of a hospital or clinic cleaning regime, bacteria and viruses in the air will eventually fall onto clean surfaces to be picked up by hospital staff, patients and visitors.

Air filtration is the only practical means to ensure that airborne contaminants are removed before landing, causing air to surface contamination in any healthcare environment.

Commercial Air Filtration work closely with Infection Control Teams and Facilities Managers to implement easily installed mobile high-performance air filtration units in order to prevent potential air to surface contamination disrupting the hospital’s MRSA prevention measures.

Indirect Contact and its Role in Preventing MRSA Infection

The hidden danger with infection control in a healthcare institution is by indirect contact when neither party is aware of the danger of cross infection. When bacteria and viruses are attached to dust and other airborne particles and then fall onto previously clean surfaces they pose a real danger for cross infection.

Recent studies show air-to-surface contamination is reduced by as much as 96% with IQAir mobile air filtration systems, with a corresponding decrease in cross-infection rates thus preventing MRSA infection in healthcare settings.

The new front in the fight against antibiotic resistance is the reduction in airborne contamination. With increasing levels of antibiotic resistance, avoidance of infection has become essential. Despite advances in surface cleaning, air cleanliness has been largely overlooked yet is a vital measure in preventing MRSA infection.

Dramatic Improvement in air quality and higher standards of airborne infection control can be achieved simply by installing high-performance mobile air filtration systems in key areas.

Air purification is increasingly being used in leading hospitals around the world to capture and retain pathogenic microbes made airborne by coughs, sneezes and episodes of diarrhoea and vomiting as part of their efforts in preventing MRSA infection. These airborne microbes are either inhaled or will settle on surfaces such as doorknobs, beds, curtains, floors and furniture. When one of these surfaces is touched there is a potential for infection. Air purification will prevent surfaces from microbial contamination.

The most effective air filtration systems deployed by hospitals and clinics are the IQAir Cleanroom series. The IQAir Cleanroom units capture harmful antibiotic-resistant bacteria and other microorganisms, preventing MRSA infection.

Airborne transmission occurs through the dissemination of either:

  • airborne droplet nuclei (small-particles 5 micrograms or smaller)
  • dust particles that contain an infectious agent

 Microorganisms carried by the airborne route can be widely dispersed by air currents and may become inhaled by a susceptible host.

All can be carried through the air and remain suspended for some considerable time before landing on previously clean surfaces or being inhaled by another patient or healthcare worker.

Research using air sampling has shown that many infective organisms, including C. diff, P. aeruginosa and MRSA can be transmitted by the airborne route. Air sampling before and after bed making showed that MRSA levels remain higher for up to 15 minutes after completion of the task. Healthcare facilities, including hospitals, use specialised ventilation and air-conditioning systems to help assure air quality around patients. A patient with a contagious disease, like tuberculosis or SARS, should be in a negative pressure environment to stop airborne infection travelling from their room. An air purifier will play a role in infection control, particularly in settings such as bone marrow transplantation units.

Bacteria and fungal spores can be considered as particles of size 25 microns to 0.25 microns, and 200 microns to 2 microns, respectively and, as such can be removed from the air with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Viruses are much smaller, in the nanoparticle size range (0.025 to 0.05 microns) but can still be removed by the IQAir Cleanroom H13 which contains HyperHEPA technology, capable of removing particles down to 0.003 microns with a filtration efficiency of 99.95%.

The traditional solution to avoid transmission – the negative or positive pressure rooms – can often be expensive and difficult to implement, especially if they are retrofitted.

IQAir high-performance mobile air filtration units are compact, mobile, and highly effective.  The leakage free H13 HEPA filtration is perfect for controlling airborne contamination and helping in preventing MRSA infection.

Removing MRSA bacterial particles before they can settle reduces the risk of cross infection and is an important factor in preventing MRSA infection. Reducing the airborne MRSA contamination by purifying the air will eliminate the consequences of ineffective surface cleaning. There are many places in a hospital where a portable HEPA-filtration unit could be used with advantage to prevent MRSA infection - such as in the intensive care unit or in wound dressing clinics. The higher capacity units perform effectively in larger or open-plan areas and reduce surface contamination with MRSA reducing infection rates.

Portable HEPA high-performance air filtration units capture and retain airborne particles, such as bacteria, viruses, mould, fine and ultra-fine dust making them particularly suitable for preventing MRSA infection. They are certified to remove airborne contamination in patient areas; waiting areas, patient rooms and critical care areas of hospitals and clinics.

Researchers at Nottingham City Hospital have proved the effectiveness of IQAir portable filtration units at reducing surface contamination with MRSA in a hospital setting.

MRSA contamination tests were positive for MRSA when there was no filtration. When the IQAir high-performance mobile air filtration units were operating, tests showed a significant decrease in the volume of MRSA bacteria.

The study illustrates how air filtration is a significant enhancement to standard infection control measures - leading to less contamination on surfaces and preventing MRSA infection.

Case Study

Nottingham City Hospital - “Clinical Trial for Controlling MRSA with Mobile HEPA Filtration Systems”