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Last Updated: Friday, 16 July, 2004, 06:25 GMT 07:25 UK
Stringent hygiene 'cuts out MRSA'
Latex gloves
Nurses had disposable gloves for each patient
Doctors at an Essex hospital have found a way of eliminating the MRSA superbug from wards by imposing strict hygiene rules, a report says.

They set aside a orthopaedic surgery ward at Broomfield hospital and admitted no patients who had the bug.

Nurses wore disposable aprons and gloves for each patient, the report in the British Medical Journal says.

In the four years since, there have been no cases of MRSA compared to nine the year before the project started.

The use of agency nurses was reduced on the ward, which was used for patients having scheduled orthopaedic surgery.

The number of other infections has also been reduced - down from 45 cases in the year before the ward was ring-fenced to just 15 in the first year of the study.

The news comes days after the National Audit Office reported that rates of hospital infections in England were on the rise.

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