Why is MRSA a Big Problem in Hospitals?

MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a type of staph bacteria that has become resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat staph infections. Although it can be found anywhere, MRSA is commonly found in healthcare settings, such as hospitals. This is called Healthcare-associated MRSA or HA-MRSA.

Why is MRSA a problem? Learn more about the threats posed by this dangerous bacteria.

Healthcare-Associated MRSA

Up to one in every 30 people are colonized with MRSA, meaning they carry it on their skin. In a hospital setting, you are surrounded by a large number of people, including patients, nurses, doctors, and visitors who could all be carriers. There may even be patients who are in the hospital because of MRSA.

So, if a person carrying MRSA visits the hospital, shakes the hand of a nurse, and the nurse forgets to wash his hands before changing a bandage, that person has been put at risk for MRSA and could develop an infection. And this isn’t limited to healthcare workers, either. The MRSA carrier could easily come into contact with a patient at risk and transfer it directly.

Another factor that puts people in hospitals at greater risk for MRSA is the fact that there are numerous entry points that allow it to get in the body. People with open wounds, burns, feeding tubes, catheters, and IVs all have open areas on their body where MRSA could easily enter.

While MRSA most often happens through skin-to-skin contact, MRSA bacteria are able to survive on various surfaces for long periods of time, meaning they can also be spread through contact with soiled linens, towels, or other objects.

Preventing the Problem of MRSA in Hospitals

There are steps hospital staff can take to prevent the spread of MRSA, including:

  • Frequently washing hands between patient visits
  • Washing hands after coming into contact with soiled linens or other items
  • Wearing gloves when necessary
  • Keeping hospital environment clean

While these steps are often highly effective at preventing MRSA, the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria can happen. And if it does, Aftermath is here to help. Our team of professionals is trained in communicable disease disinfection, and we'll help ensure your staff and patients are safe from potential MRSA exposure.

Don't find out for yourself why MRSA is a problem. Contact us anytime for assistance!

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Sources:
NHS: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/MRSA/Pages/Causes.aspx

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