Focus on Long-term Care Facilities
Shelly A. McNeil, MD, FRCPC, Division of Infectious Diseases, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre and Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS.
Lona Mody, MD, Divisions of Geriatric Medicine, Veterans Affairs Medical Center and The University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
Suzanne Bradley, MD, Divisions of Geriatric Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Veterans Affairs Medical Center and The University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) are important causes of morbidity and mortality in hospitals, and rates of MRSA and VRE in long-term care facilities (LTCF) have increased. However, the majority of residents in LTCF are asymptomatically colonized and the risk of infection with MRSA or VRE in this setting is low. Extension of stringent infection control practices required to control the spread of MRSA and VRE in acute care hospitals is not warranted in the LTCF setting. Patients known to be colonized with MRSA or VRE should not be refused admission to a LTCF and, in the absence of symptomatic infection, measures beyond routine standard precautions are not necessary.