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MRSA and cataract surgery – reflections for practice

Authors Porter, Khan R, Hannan A, Kelly S

Published 19 October 2010 Volume 2010:4 Pages 1223—1227


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

LF Porter1, RU Khan2, A Hannan3, SP Kelly1
1Royal Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Bolton, UK; 2Departments of Microbiology, Royal Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Bolton, UK; 3Haughton Thornley Medical Centers, NHS Tameside and Glossop, UK

Introduction: Postoperative bacterial endophthalmitis is a devastating complication of cataract surgery. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) endophthalmitis is rare. Recent debate over MRSA screening in United Kingdom (UK) National Health Service (NHS) hospital services has implications for cataract patients and ophthalmology services.
Aims: To discuss issues for clinical practice as based on reflective experience at a UK district general NHS hospital in relation to care of MRSA-positive cataract patients.
Methods: Retrospective case series and reflective practice.
Results: Three cases presented highlight practice points around cataract patients colonized with MRSA. Known or determined MRSA-colonized patients should be treated with anti-microbial agents at time of cataract surgery known to be active against MRSA. Preventative treatment with intracameral vancomycin or intravenous teicoplanin alongside appropriate topical treatments may be of merit. Importantly fluoroquinolones, often prescribed by cataract surgeons, may have a selective effect favoring the proliferation of MRSA.
Conclusion: MRSA screening may cause unnecessary delays in cataract care and may represent a patient safety concern in its own right. Patients colonized with MRSA may safely undergo cataract surgery provided there is no evidence of periorbital infection and provided appropriate infection control and antibiotic prophylaxis measures are used. The well-prepared cataract surgeon needs to be aware of developments in infection control and should liaise with local clinical microbiology colleagues in relation to bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

Keywords: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), endophthalmitis, screening

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