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MRSA information

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) Bacteremia

What is Bacteremia?

Bacteremia is the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream and usually associated with an infection. “Bloodstream” infections can be serious and usually required medical treatment of the patient including antibiotic therapy.

What is MRSA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a germ that lives on the skin and mucous membranes of healthy people. Occasionally S. aureus can cause an infection. When S. aureus develops resistance to certain antibiotics, it is called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.

How is MRSA spread?

MRSA is spread from one person to another by contact, usually on the hands of caregivers. MRSA can be present on the caregiver’s hands either from touching contaminated material excreted by the infected person or from touching articles contaminated by the skin of a person with MRSA, such as towels, sheets and wound dressings. MRSA can live on hands and objects in the environment.

What special precautions are required for MRSA?

It is important that special precautions are taken to stop MRSA from spreading to other patients in the hospital. These precautions include:

  • Single room accommodation (the door can remain open)
  • A long-sleeved gown and gloves must be worn by everyone who cares for you
  • A sign may be placed on your door to remind others who enter your room about the special precautions
  • The room and the equipment used in the room will be cleaned and disinfected regularly
  • Everyone who leaves your room must clean their hands well
  • You must clean your hands before you leave your room

What about family and visitors?

Your family and visitors should not assist other patients with their personal care as this may cause the germ to spread. They may be required to wear a long-sleeved gown and gloves while in your room. Before leaving your room, visitors must remove the gloves and gown and dispose of them in the garbage container and the linen hamper located in your room. Then they must clean their hands.

Good hand hygiene practices:

Remind all staff and visitors to practice good hand hygiene before and after they touch you. Ask your nurse or doctor to demonstrate proper hand hygiene techniques (15 seconds of soap and running water OR waterless alcohol hand rub until hands are dry).