MRSA Killer Bug?

21 08 2009

MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) is often referred to as a killer, or super bug that is resistant to many antibiotics.  This bacterial bug is most appropriately referred to as a super bug because of Oxacillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (ORSA).  This is a MRSA strain that is resistant to many types of antibiotics, to include penicillin’s and cephalosporins.  This bug is of great concern to those who need surgery, or nursing care services where the patient age 65 and older are four times more prone to contracting MRSA.  The term killer bug stems from the fact that in 2005, “More than 18,000 Deaths and 94,000 life-threatening cases occurred.   The bug frequently enters the body in a sterile health care facility or hospitals where patients are in a weakened immune state.  Most bacterial spread occurs due to unsterile dialysis, catheters, or surgical procedures (Medical cleanliness standards have greatly improved since 2005).  This does not mean a healthy individual cannot obtain this bug.  Patients can be exposed to a Community Associated (CA)-MRSA infection.  CA infections are common among homosexuals, athletes, prisoners and soldiers.

Since MRSA bacterium is often found in the noses and skin of healthy people, we are all susceptible during a weakened immune state to activate the MRSA bacteria.  In most cases, this activation is prominent after surgeries, can form around malignancies as boils and abscesses to include other pus-type lesions.  Most that contract MRSA are not considered infected; instead the organism is colonized on the skin, in the nose, or throat without infection.  However, if one also has fever like symptoms then they would be considered infectious.  One should not fear MRSA, or methincillin-sensitive S type (difficult to treat with anti-biotic) as a general threat to the public.  MRSA does not typically present a threat to health care providers, or family members that provide the care unless they are suffering from debilitating disease.  One should not be discouraged from social contact.
 
Recommendations, If Diagnosed with MRSA, or Require a Medical Procedure
1.        Inquire how often staff is required to wash hands (before & after MRSA patient handling, or procedures).  Frequent cleanliness practice prevents spread of MRSA.
2.      Patients room doors should remain closed, records clearly labeled where regularly damp dusting occurs, and nursed in wards not placed with non-infected patients.
3.      Treatment – Antibiotics through the nose and special bathing procedures to ensure there is no possibility of spreading the bug in a facility, or home care facility. 
4.      After patient discharge it is very important the medical facility disinfects the room and clothes bagged for special treatment so the next patient is not exposed to MRSA.
5.      Ensure your physician and care handlers refer to past MRSA susceptibility, separation and isolate immediately should you require future hospitalization, or medical care.

References,
Association of Medical Microbiologists, worldwide Internet………………http://www.amm.co.uk/files/factsabout/fa_mrsa.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention………………………………………http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/ar_mrsa.html
Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MRSA
Web MD, http://www.webmd.com/news/20071016/more-us-deaths-from-mrsa-than-aids

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2009 Copyright, All rights reserved.  Mirror Athlete Enterprises Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free eNewsletter.