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).

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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.

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  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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