This post concludes our series on MRSA in support of MRSA Awareness Month.
To recognize MRSA Awareness Month through October, here are 5 critical facts about MRSA that everyone needs to know.
One of the most tracked and reported metrics in today's healthcare facilities is infection rates. Anyone working in a hospital is aware of the importance of keeping these rates as low as possible, as they impact not only patient outcomes, but reimbursement rates and facility reputation as well. It may be an assumption by the general public that these rates are an objective metric with little grey area. However, a recent study investigated what infection prevention experts think about these metrics, and the results may surprise you!
Imagine you are a physician doing rounds in a hospital. You and a colleague walk into the room of a patient infected with MRSA. You are careful to wear gloves, and avoid touching the patient, but instead check his medical devices and other equipment. Alongside you, your colleague performs a routine exam of the patient himself, touching various parts of his body as needed. After the visit, you and your colleague remove your gloves and each pair is tested for contamination by MRSA. Whose gloves are the most contaminated? The answer may surprise you.
There is a good chance that you have Staph - Staphylococcus aureus - on your body right now. In fact, it is estimated that 25-30% of us carry Staph on our skin or in our nose all the time. But a quarter of us are not sick, suffering from the symptoms of a Staph infection. What's the deal? It comes down to colonization vs. infection.
Staphylococcus might as well be the mob when it comes to hospital acquired infections. Strains from this bacterial crime family account for 38% of all HAIs and affect all the major sites for infections. Because it is a part of our natural human flora (our own personal biome), it has ready access to opportunities to enter the body, either through an incision or a medical device.
Most of the attention regarding antibiotic-resistant MRSA is found in hospitals and healthcare settings, places where strains of the common Staphylococcus aureus have evolved to resist these treatments. But there is a type of MRSA that is spread outside of healthcare settings, among healthy individuals. This type is called "Community-Acquired MRSA," (CA-MRSA) and can also be difficult to treat. Today we'll explore what sets this particular strain of Staph apart from its more harmful, hospital-associated cousin.