People carry bacteria inside the warm, moist environments of the nose. In this location, bacteria can thrive since we do not wash out the insides of our noses. Hair inside the nose also adds to the ability of the bacteria to reside successfully in this location. One type of problematic bacteria is Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA), and its antibiotic resistant strain, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Bacteria in the nose is difficult to eliminate safely. In the past, the medical community relied on topical antibiotics to eliminate nasal bacteria but this involved pre-screening patients and then pre-surgical treatment several times daily up to one week ahead of a surgery. In addition to the time and effort disadvantages, use of topical antibiotics for prevention of surgical site infections resulted in significantly higher rates of resistance to those antibiotics, in part, due to the low patient compliance rates of less than 35%.
Why is bacterial colonization of the nose an issue to patients about to undergo a major surgery? Patients who are recovering from major surgeries have a compromised immune system. When our immune systems are not up to par, bacteria can become opportunistic. They can sense when the host immune response is weakened and become more aggressive at a time with the patient’s body is much less capable of warding off a bacterial infection. For this reason, people who carry certain bacteria in the nose prior to surgery are more likely that others to succumb to a post operation surgical site infection.
Surgical site infections are infections that occur after surgery in the part of the body (whether on the surface skin area, or in deeper tissue such as organs and muscle) where the surgery was performed. According to the CDC, up to 3% of patients who have a surgery will develop a surgical site infection. In a number of studies, it was demonstrated that eliminating the bacteria in the nose prior to infections has a significant impact, typically cutting the rate of surgical site infections by half. Non-antibiotic nasal decolonization approaches that do not require patient compliance are therefore of great importance to both the patient and the health care system. Photodisinfection is a non-antibiotic therapy that has been proven to be highly effective at safely eliminating bacteria from the noses of patients and has significantly reduced the rate of surgical site infections in its debut hospital deployment.
We are counting on public support to encourage early adoption of this important infection prevention technology in our healthcare facilities. Lives and better patient outcomes are at stake as so many of our current antibiotics have become less effective against a growing number of superbugs. Everyone now knows of someone who has died of an infection; this was not the case when I was growing up.
“In addition to decreasing surgical site infections, the project raised awareness of the importance of preventing infections, increased communication and teamwork at multiple levels and across numerous services and departments, and also promoted antimicrobial stewardship” ~BC Patient Safety & Quality Council
Wow, we couldn’t be more excited by this news!
Dr. Elizabeth Bryce and her team at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) have been awarded the BC Quality Awards in the Getting Better category for their work implementing MRSAid Photodisinfection System and body wipes into their perioperative center.
This award is given to an initiative focused on improving care for acute illness or injury. Between June 2011 and May 2012, the team at VGH decolonized the noses of 5,300 patients using MRSAid. This procedure was done just prior to surgery, destroying any harmful bacteria that resides in the patient’s nose, and thus reducing their risk of developing an infection after surgery.
“It takes less than five minutes and it’s not painful,” said Dr. Wong, one of the dedicated team members at VGH. “Photodisinfection has several distinct advantages. It is not subject to any type of drug resistance and it doesn’t develop drug resistance.”
Left: Carolyn Cross, our CEO and Chairman. Right: Dr. Elizabeth Bryce, Champion For Change
Today is a proud moment for all of us. We’re here to honor a visionary doctor for championing an unheralded change in infection control – Dr. Elizabeth Bryce. Dr. Bryce is the recipient of the inaugural Champion For Change Award for her outstanding leadership in championing the VGH-MRSAid quality improvement project.
“Congratulations to Dr. Bryce on her well deserved recognition. To us, she most certainly is a champion of change and innovation. Her dedicated team at Vancouver General Hospital did a superb job integrating a new protocol into their surgical procedures, trailblazing the path for better patient outcomes.” Carolyn Cross, CEO & Chairman of Ondine Biomedical Inc.
The award, given to her by the Women Presidents’ Organization and GroYourBiz, recognizes global leaders who envision better ways of benefitting their community. “I’m honored to be recognized … I’m even more thrilled about the evidence-based results we are seeing from the use of MRSAid to save lives – and time – and money. Our team’s achievements are a world’s first, an enormous breakthrough for infection control and a huge coup for VGH.”
Watch the video below to see Dr. Bryce and her dedicated team at VGH discuss MRSAid.
Today is a very proud day for all of us. We can’t thank the amazing team at Vancouver General Hospital enough for their willingness to champion innovation and change. The results of this project mark a global first for photodisinfection as a non-antibiotic approach to reducing surgical site infections.
We have a very busy week ahead of us, so please stay tuned to this blog as we’ll be bringing you a lot more updates over the next few days.
Over the coming year, the world will learn more about our MRSAid™ photodisinfection technology and its ability to prevent surgical site infections. The last patients in the year long quality improvement program at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) will be treated next month, giving us a chance to look retrospectively at how surgical site infections were affected at this major hospital. This program, involving over 5,000 patients at VGH, sought to reduce infections in all patients undergoing cardio, vascular, neurological, thoracic, breast, spinal and orthopaedic surgeries. Data from this analysis is expected in the late fall and results are expected to be announced at Infection Control Conferences in 2013.
People who carry MRSA or MSSA are at much greater risk of self infection when they are immunocompromised and weakened after surgery. Up to 30% of patients are simply unable to defend themselves from the tenacious bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus which lie dormant in the nose, waiting for opportunities to invade the body. Eliminating the bacteria carried in the nose prior to surgery has been proven to reduce the rate of surgical site infections. From a number of other studies (including Bode et al “Preventing SSIs In Nasal Carriers of Staph”), we have learned that eliminating both MRSA and MSSA from the nose prior to surgery reduces surgical site infections (SSIs) by up to 56% and total healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) by up to 79% in non-surgical admissions.
9:04am: Today, the MRSAid team is live-blogging from the AMMI-CACMID annual conference. If you are one of Canada’s top clinical microbiologists or infectious disease specialists, this is THE place to be. We’re very excited to be attending this conference for the first time, and can’t wait to speak w/ some of the top professionals in the country.
10:18am: The AMMI-CACMID conference is meant to bring together students and professionals in the areas of microbiology, antimicrobial stewardship, infectious diseases, infection prevention and control, and public health. Judging by the turnout at the opening lecture, they’ve certainly done a great job bringing these people together. Just check out the packed room!
10:42am: Lectures this morning have been incredibly interesting and it is clear from the talks that MRSA problem is not going away. In fact, MRSA colonization rates in high-risk patients have been as high as 15%! Read More
Our MRSAid™ Photodisinfection procedure has been well received at VGH and represents a promising approach to improve patient safety in other healthcare facility settings… Photodisinfection (is) ideal for hospital settings as it eliminates the need for patient compliance as it can be administered just prior to surgery- Carolyn Cross, Chairman and CEO of Ondine.
Less than a year ago, Vancouver General Hospital implemented the MRSAid™ Photodisinfection System as part of a year-long infection control Quality Improvement Project. Since then, we are very pleased to announce that we have treated over 2,500 patients, making this one of the largest PDT studies in the world. The project is being undertaken with the objective of reducing the incidence of surgical site infections in selected surgical populations.
Many people do not know that the nose is the primary site for bacteria colonization. The average person touches their nose more than 100 times a day, and if they touch their nose and then touch their surgical site, they are at risk of giving themselves an infection that was completely preventable. Many studies have demonstrated a significant reduction in surgical site infections after nasal decolonization of both Staph and MRSA. It is therefore critical to continue the development of non-antibiotic treatments that eliminate potentially deadly bacteria from the nose.
We have a new video! Three fantastic nurses describe how MRSAid works & how it can help prevent surgical site infections. In a report from the CDC, of the over 1.7 million healthcare-associated infections occurring annually, surgical site infections are one of the most predominant infections (290,485).* Watch the video below to learn how MRSAid can change the process of controlling healthcare-associated infections.
*Scott RD, CDC. The Direct Medical COsts of Healthcare-Associated Infections in US Hospitals and the Benefits of Prevention, March 2009.