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Finally A Little Good News About Hospital Infections

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, January 03, 2008 2:18 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Toxic Substances, Medical Devices, FDA and Prescription Drugs


Wednesday the FDA approved a new blood test for common staph infections and MRSA that should help streamline treatment and save lives.


There has been little good news lately in the growing number of antibiotic resistant bacterial infections that are showing up not only in hospitals but in schools and locker rooms.

Expect some rapid changes in testing for deadly staph with Wednesday’s FDA approval of a rapid blood test.

Made by Becton Dickinson, (NYSE: BDX ), and its company BD Diagnostics, the blood test can deliver results in two hours rather than days.   

The test will be used on hospitalized patients suspected of having a staph infection to determine if it is the deadly strain MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus),  or the more common Staphylococcus aureus (SA) that can still be treated with methicillin.   

The new MRSA blood test - called the BD GeneOhm StaphSR assay -  means that treatment can start sooner making recovery much more likely and keeping costs down. The company has also applied for approval of a similar test that is less invasive using a nasal swab to take a sample.   

nasal swab test at a London hospital was able to reduce MRSA infections by 40 percent.

The FDA warns this should not be the only test given and it is not useful to monitor treatment progress.

In an October 2007 report, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that MRSA had likely killed 19,000 in the U.S., even more than HIV and AIDS.   The report concluded that non-hospital settings such as schools and locker rooms were among places the antibiotic resistant strain was being discovered.  Additionally, people other than those with already compromised immune systems were being affected. 

The control of spiraling infections is expected to create spiraling profits in the double digits over the next few years, projected by JP Morgan to grow up to 12 percent annually while presenting little risk to regulators.  

The stock closed at $86.78 up $3.20 upon the approval Wednesday.  #

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