An explanation of MRSA staph infections and how to prevent them is the subject of this article. MRSA is an acronym for methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus. This type of staph is one of fastest growing causes of preventable deaths in hospitals and health care facilities. The MRSA infection is one of the new “super” germs that are resistant to all but the most powerful drugs.
The staph germ is carried by about 30% of the human population. It is most commonly found within the nose, but does not usually cause an infection. Staph germs are basically not harmful to the body unless they enter an open wound, cut, or sore. MRSA is proving deadly to the elderly, people who are ill, and those with immune systems weakened for numerous reasons. The above groups of people are generally found in hospitals and nursing homes.
All patients who are currently in the hospital or have had a recent stay in such a facility, should be aware of the risk of MRSA infections. In 2007, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, issued a report that gave an estimate of 1.2 million patients in American hospitals are infected with MRSA each year. A special note of concern would be sounded for those whose treatments include invasive devices such as feeding tubes, catheterization tubes, and dialysis equipment.
Of course prevention of the spread of the MRSA infection is the best way to prevent a deadly result. If you have to be hospitalized or responsible for the care of a loved-one in the same boat, it is imperative that you insist that all health-care workers who enter your room wash their hands or use an alcohol-based sanitizer before touching you-EVERY time. Wash your own hands in the hospital frequently. Do not let any IV tubes or catheters be inserted unless the person doing the work is wearing a mask. It is okay to be firm about these rules. It is the unfortunate reality that this is not happening in all hospitals, and good people are being infected with this deadly bacteria. It is always better to be safe than sicker or in danger of death from the very facility that was entrusted with your care. For more information, try the Mayo Clinic website at www.mayoclinic.com/health/mrsa and take charge of your health care.