People with advanced disease approaching the end of life require sensitive consideration with regard to infection control procedures. Strict adherence to infection control guidelines designed for the acute hospital setting may not always be appropriate for terminally ill patients. This article examines the management of meticillin (methicillin)-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) within the hospice patient population. It argues that limited evidence is available on which to base practice, noting that procedures and protocols vary across hospices. It is not the intention of the article to provide details of infection control procedures related to MRSA. That information is reported widely in the literature. Instead it will concentrate on the prevalence of MRSA within the hospice setting and those aspects of infection control practice that have the potential to affect patients in the final stages of life, e.g. screening and isolation practices. Although it analyses the implications of MRSA precautions for hospice care practice, the findings are applicable to any environment in which dying patients receive care. Conflicts of interest: none
- Healthcare-associated infection
- Isolation and screening
- Palliative and end-of-life care
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