A recent study showed that making health care workers wear gloves and gowns when in contact with intensive care unit (ICU) patients reduced the risk of one type of antibiotic-resistant infection - but not against another type.
Researchers focused on two main types of antibiotic-resistant infections that affect patients in hospitals and other health care facilities: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE). While the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) recommended the use of gloves and gowns to reduce contact with patients possibly carrying either infections, it was unknown if such measures would help reduce the spread.
As a result, researchers conducted a study in medical and surgical ICUs in 20 U.S. hospitals from January 2012 to October 2012. In some of the ICUs, all health care workers wore gloves and gowns for all patient contact and when entering any patient room. The study showed that these measures did not reduce rates of VRE infection, but did reduce rates of MRSA infection.
The study was published online on October 4th in the Journal of the American Medical Association.