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Feb 21 2012

NYIT Health Study Finds Doctors' Offices MRSA-Free

Old Westbury, N.Y.  (February 21, 2012) –  As cases of a particularly dangerous strain of bacterial infection are on the rise nationwide, faculty and students from NYIT’s School of Health Professions found good news as they canvassed seven Long Island doctors’ offices for evidence of the germ:  the bacteria were not present on many objects patients and staff typically touch in waiting and exam rooms.
 
Lawrence Herman, associate professor in the department of physician assistant studies, presented the study’s results at NYIT’s cross-disciplinary health research series in Riland Auditorium.  Another faculty member, associate professor of physical therapy, John Handrakis, presented his separate research on the effects of cool temperatures on people with spinal cord injuries.
 
Herman’s research on Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, known as MRSA, focused on the strain that is “community acquired” rather than a different strain that has been found in hospitals and is generally resistant to antibiotics.  Herman said that there has been “significant concern” that MRSA bacterial colonies in family practice offices may pose a danger of infection for patients.  He and four students visited seven primary care and family practice offices on Long Island and took samples from objects patients and staff typically touch, such as sign-in pens, exam tables, and magazines in waiting rooms.  Thousands of patients visit the offices, including those who come straight from hospital stays.
 
The results of the study showed the bacteria were not present.
 
“It was a pleasant and surprising finding – we certainly anticipated grim results,” Herman said.
 
Simple precautions, such as cleaning surfaces with antibacterial soap or alcohol and washing hands, prevent the spread of the MRSA, he said.  “We need to remain constantly vigilant and patients and health care providers must continue to take appropriate precautions to insure that this does not become the same kind of issue that it is in hospitals,” said Herman.
 
About NYIT
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 14,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.
 
Led by President Edward Guiliano, NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, 89,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit nyit.edu.
 
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