A recent survey of the infection control practitioners found that 54 percent of them believe hospitals aren’t doing everything they can to prevent the spread of methicillin- resistant staph aureus (MRSA). According to the Mayo Clinic, MRSA infection is caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria — often called “staph.” It’s a strain of staph that’s resistant to the broad spectrum of antibiotics commonly used to treat staph, sometimes leading to death. In fact, MRSA is believed MRSA to lead to more than 19,000 deaths of patients each year.
Staph skin infections, including MRSA, generally start as small red bumps that resemble pimples, boils or spider bites and can quickly turn to painful, deep abscesses that require surgical draining. MRSA may also penetrate the body causing infections in the bones, joints, surgical wounds, bloodstream, heart valves, and the lungs.
Because the bacterium is spreading broadly beyond hospitals, some state law makers are trying to create new state laws to prevent the spread of MRSA. In Illinois law makers now require hospitals to test all “at risk” patients and patients in intensive care for MRSA and isolate them if they carry the drug resistant bacterium.
For more information on healthcare associated MRSA check out ww.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/ar_MRSA.html.
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