Bill to mandate MRSA screening in hospitals on governor’s desk in Olympia

The Seattle Times reports that Washington legislators have passed a bill requiring that MRSA-infection screenings be performed at all Washington hospitals to protect patients from the potentially dangerous and fatal methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.

The bill has passed the Washington Senate and now awaits Governor Gregoire’s signature. If the Governor signs it, Washington will be one of five states which mandates MRSA testing. States which have already passed a similar bill are California, Illinois, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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The bill — ESHB 1123 — passed the House by a 97-0 vote and was also approved by a unanimous vote of the Senate. It requires that hospitals have a MRSA screening policy in place by January 1, 2010. Hospitals will have to notify infected patients and educate them on treatment and disease prevention.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 18,000 die every year because of the infection.

The Seattle Times had an award winning series on the MRSA epidemic in Washington hospitals. Their article was the impetus for this bill to be introduced into law.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have suffered serious illness and the families of those who have died due to medical and hospital malpractice including hospital-acquired infections.

Contact The Farber Law Group for a free and confidential case evaluation. We have offices in Seattle and Bellevue to assist you.