Wiping out MRSA: effect of introducing a universal disinfection wipe in a large UK teaching hospital

Dr. Mark Garvey1

1Consultant Clinical Scientist, Deputy Director of Infection Prevention and Control, University Hospitals Birmingham, NHS Foundation Trust, Mark.Garvey@uhb.nhs.uk



Contamination of the inanimate environment around patients constitutes an important reservoir of MRSA. Here we describe the effect of introducing a universal disinfection wipe in all wards on the rates of MRSA acquisitions and bacteraemias across a large UK teaching hospital.


A segmented Poisson regression model was used to detect any significant changes in the monthly numbers per 100,000 bed days of MRSA acquisitions and bacteraemias from April 2013 – December 2017.


From April 2013 to April 2016, cleaning of ward areas and multi-use patient equipment by nursing staff consisted of a two-wipe system. A detergent wipe was used, which was followed by a disinfection step using an alcohol wipe. In May 2016, we discontinued the use of a two-wipe system for cleaning and changed to a one wipe system utilising a combined cleaning and disinfection wipe containing a quaternary ammonium compound. The segmented Poisson regression model demonstrated that the rate of MRSA acquisition/100,000 patient bed days was affected by the introduction of the new wiping regime.



The Poisson model demonstrated that the average hospital acquisition rate of MRSA/100,000 patient bed days reduced by 6.3% per month after the introduction of the new universal wipe.


Mark is the Infection Prevention Clinical Scientist at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust. Mark recently published a paper to show the effectiveness of changing from a two-step cleaning process (detergent wipes then alcohol wipes) to a combined detergent disinfectant wipe.

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