Must we screen for resistant bacteria?

This is a cry for help. In 2 weeks time I have a pro-con debate on the statement “screening for highly-resistant microorganisms is a must”. I face 2 problems: the organizers gave me the “PRO” position and my opponent is professor Andreas Voss.

We will be watched by a Dutch audience, so the bacteria involved are MRSA, VRE, anything resistant to carbapenems and ESBL-producing Gram-negatives, and I (and hopefully Andreas too) interpreted the question as “screening at the time of hospital admission”.

I am desperately seeking high-level scientific evidence supporting my allocated point. 

My question to the knowledgeable reflectionsipc readership is: What do you consider the single most convincing piece of evidence underpinning my case.

As in all good practice I will provide feedback (if I survive the battle).


4 thoughts on “Must we screen for resistant bacteria?

  1. Hello, if you are looking for a compelling RCT I fear you will not find one. That is no ones fault it is just where we are with the epistemology of infection prevention and control. Instead I would come from a deontological, ethical standpoint. What is the right thing to do? If I was entering hospital and was undergoing an invasive procedure would I want to know that I was colonised with MDR bacteria? Would this enable me to make a more informed choice? The fact that the healthcare service then struggles to deliver the optimum standard is a quite different discussion.


  2. If we don’t screen we can not know how we are about bacterial resistance! In Portugal some hospital usualy do the screen on patient admission. Patients who have criterias.


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