Report on MRSA to show superbug is widespread in hospitals

The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) will release the results of the first nationwide study on the prevalence of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in U.S. healthcare facilities.

The study documents that the drug-resistant bacteria, which poses a serious and sometimes deadly health risk to patients, is much more widespread than previous estimates have indicated. The report is based on data collected from more than 1,200 hospitals in all 50 states.

Consumers Union's Stop Hospital Infection campaign (www.StopHospitalInfections.org) has been working across the country to pass laws requiring hospitals to disclose their patient infection rates to help consumers make more informed healthcare choices and to spur improvements in infection prevention. The campaign has collected over 1,800 stories from patients who have suffered from hospital infections, including MRSA, and can connect reporters with those willing to be interviewed.

WHEN/WHERE: The results of the APIC study will be made available on APIC's web site on Monday, June 25, 2007, at 12:01am Eastern (www.apic.org/MRSAStudy).

A media briefing on the study is scheduled for Tuesday, June 26, 2007, at 12pm Eastern, 9am Pacific, at the APIC annual conference in San Jose, CA (Marriott, Guadalupe Room). Media call-in is available.

CONTACT: To find out more about the APIC report and for instructions for calling-in by phone to join the media briefing, contact Jonathan Osmundsen at 202-261-2869 or [email protected].

Reporters interested in interviewing patients who have suffered from MRSA should contact Consumers Union's Michael McCauley (415-431-6747, ext 126) or Suzanne Henry (512-477-4431, ext 121).

Lisa McGiffert, the Director of Consumers Union's Stop Hospital Infections Campaign is available to comment on the threat posed by MRSA to patients and what needs to be done to reduce these increasingly common infections. She can be reached at 512-477-4431, ext 115.

Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, is an independent, nonprofit testing and information organization serving only the consumer. We are a comprehensive source of unbiased advice about products and services, personal finance, health, nutrition, and other consumer concerns. Since 1936, our mission has been to test products, inform the public, and protect consumers. http://www.stophospitalinfections.org/, a project of Consumers Union, advocates for public disclosure of hospital-acquired infection rates.

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