Hospitals Ramp Up Screening for Superbug

Four Chicago facilities will test all new patients for the staph infection
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2007 6:16 PM CDT
In a place where a sterile environment could be the difference between life and death, hospitals are screening for drug-resistant staph.   (
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(Newser) – Four hospitals in the Chicago area will start screening all patients for drug-resistant "superbug" bacteria, the Chicago Tribune reports. The intensive screening is known as "search and destroy" in Europe, but it is uncommon in the US. The moves comes as hospitals around the nation evaluate safety procedures in the wake of CDC data showing antibiotic-resistant staph to be a growing threat.

"It's a safety decision: We want to do what's in the best interest of our patients," says the chief of the Loyola University health system. Public concern over these strains of staphylococcus has been growing since the CDC reported that the bacteria kill 19,000 people a year. Still, evidence supporting universal screening as a strategy is limited, reports the Tribune.