Surge in Pediatric MRSA Hospitalizations

The number of children hospitalized with MRSA-related infections acquired in the community has more than doubled since 2000, according to a new study from UC Davis and published in this month’s Academic Pediatrics.
“Often parents don’t recognize that their kid’s abscess or other soft-tissue infections might be MRSA because the child hasn’t been in nursing homes or hospitals, where you usually think of getting staph infections,” said Patrick S. Romano, a professor of medicine and pediatrics at the UC Davis School of Medicine and the study’s senior author. “It’s usually pretty easy to treat, if you treat it early and know what you’re looking for,” he added.
The study suggests the cause of the surge may be two-fold, both of which involve a general lack of awareness and prompt treatment of MRSA-related infections.
“In the early part of the decade, clinicians generally didn’t recognize the growing prevalence of community-acquired MRSA,” Romano said, differentiating between MRSA cases that occur in hospital settings or nursing homes, and the growing proportion of cases that occur in the community among otherwise healthy people. “Starting around 2005, physicians began treating community-acquired MRSA more effectively.”
Proper hand washing techniques is an important preventative step that parents should teach their children in order to prevent infections and the spread of potentially harmful bacteria.