Two common antibiotics can help hospital outpatients heal from small skin infections involving Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, according to a study published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine. Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, the study found that clindamycin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole were equally beneficial in treating small skin abscesses after drainage, with a cure rate of 82%-85% compared with 63% for patients who received a placebo. The authors note that possible antibiotic-related side effects should be taken into account when deciding treatment. The AHA’s Health Research & Educational Trust is working with hospitals to improve antibiotic stewardship and control MRSA through its Hospital Improvement Innovation Network and the national STRIVE initiative.

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