How many people die from meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection each year?
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) provides national statistics on causes of deaths. ONS statistics show that in 2005 in England and Wales, 1629 death certificates mentioned MRSA as a factor contributing to the death of those individuals. In 467 of these individuals MRSA was recorded as the main cause of death, in other words a death due to MRSA infection. However, results from the Confidential Study of Deaths Following MRSA infection, a detailed qualitative study of a small number of deaths (2005-06) suggests that both over- and under-reporting of MRSA infection on these death certificates occurred. Although only a small sample (56 patients), this suggests official figures need to be interpreted with caution.