We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
MRSA is the acronym for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It is an infection caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria that is also known as staph. MRSA is a strain of the staph bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics commonly used to treat it. MRSA infections can sometimes be fatal.
Most MRSA infections that occur in hospitals or medical care settings are known as health care-associated MRSA, or HA-MRSA. Another type of MRSA--community-associated MRSA, or CA-MRSA--occurs among individuals in a wider community such as a school or day care setting.
The staph bacteria normally live in the nasal passages and on the skin of healthy individuals. The bacteria can usually be found in one out of three people. Staph is generally a harmless bacteria, but it can cause infection when it enters the body through a sore, cut, breathing tube or a catheter. A MRSA infection can either be major or minor. Major infections occur in those with a weak immune system. Minor infections would be the appearance of simple pimple-like bumps.
MRSA infections normally start as little red bumps that resemble a pimple or a spider bite. These bumps can rapidly turn into painful abscesses that may need surgical draining. If not treated in time, these sores can penetrate a person's body and cause other infections in the blood, bones, heart, lungs and joints. These infections could be life-threatening. Some people may also develop a sty, which is an infection of the eyelid gland.
Consult a physician if the wounds show any sign of infection--such as presence of pus, which is a yellowish fluid that may have an odor. Other signs to look for would be tenderness or redness of the wound and/or a fever. Seek immediate medical attention if any of these symptoms occur: low blood pressure, chills, shortness of breath, severe headaches or a rash over most of the body.
To diagnose a MRSA infection, a physician will check the nasal secretions or tissue samples from an individual for signs of the bacteria. The sample is sent to a laboratory where it is tested for bacterial growth. A diagnosis with this method can take up to 48 hours. Newer tests are available that can detect MRSA sooner. One such test is called Xpert MRSA, which can give results in two hours. Other samples that a physician may take are blood, sputum (secretions from the bronchi or lungs) or urine.
Physicians will generally use an antibiotic called vancomycin to treat MRSA infections that occur in hospitals or medical care facilities. If the MRSA is a community-associated infection, it may be treated with vancomycin as well as other antibiotics. For some cases, antibiotics may not be needed. Sometimes, the abscess can be drained rather than treated with an antibiotic. This can be done at a physician's office. For other serious infections, a person may be admitted to the hospital and may require fluids and medications through an IV. Someone with MRSA may also need oxygen or kidney dialysis.
Several steps can help prevent a MRSA infection. Throughout the day, wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds under warm water. Also, carry a bottle of hand sanitizer to use if you do not have access to soap and water. The alcohol in the sanitizer will help to kill any germs. Avoid sharing items with others such as clothing, towels and razors. Items that are contaminated with MRSA can affect people just as direct contact can. Keep any abrasions and cuts covered to keep MRSA bacteria out of the wounds. If you are an athlete, take a shower immediately after a game or practice. If you have any wounds that appear to be infected, try to sit out of the game until after the wound has healed.