Scientific article| Volume 35, ISSUE 1, P97-103, January 2010

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Community-Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Surgically Treated Hand Infections

Published:December 07, 2009DOI:


      An increase in the incidence of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) infections has been observed. The purpose of this study is to determine the change in proportion of surgically treated CA-MRSA hand infections over the last decade and to identify associated risk factors.


      A retrospective review was performed of all 159 hand infections treated in the operating room over an 11-year period (1997–2007). Mean age overall was 40 years, mean inpatient length of stay was 4.9 days, and 115 of the 159 patients were male. Examined data included known risk factors for MRSA, including human immunodeficiency virus infection, diabetes mellitus, intravenous drug use, incarceration, and homelessness.


      Forty-eight patients had surgery for hand infections due to CA-MRSA. The yearly proportion of CA-MRSA increased over the study period, and the risk of having an MRSA infection was 41% higher with each progressive calendar year during the study period relative to the apparent incidence of non-MRSA hand infections. Other factors associated with CA-MRSA were intravenous drug use, felon-type infection, and prior hand infection. Multivariable logistic regression identified intravenous drug use as a significant, independent risk factor for CA-MRSA hand infection.


      The proportion of surgically treated hand infections due to CA-MRSA has increased during the last decade. Intravenous drug use was the only independent risk factor for CA-MRSA infections treated in the operating room at our institution.

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