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Controlling an outbreak of MRSA in the neonatal unit: a steep learning curve
  1. I A Laing1,
  2. A P Gibb2,
  3. A McCallum3
  1. 1
    Neonatal Unit, Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2
    Department of Microbiology, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3
    Department of Public Health, Lothian Health Board, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Dr Ian A Laing, Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH16 4SA, UK; Ian.laing{at}


Meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can cause serious infections in the newborn. While audit may show that a neonatal unit’s main cause of infective morbidity is the coagulase negative staphylococcus, health authorities and politicians fear the implications of MRSA and its impact on the general public. MRSA causes mortality and morbidity in other areas of hospitals in the UK and in many other countries and there is an uneasy acceptance that this is now the established norm. However, MRSA in the neonatal unit carries sensitivities which have a huge impact on the reactions of health authorities, politicians and the press.

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  • Competing interests: None.