Posts tagged: MRSA colonization

MRSA Infections and How Athletes are at Risk

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), is quickly becoming a widespread threat to athletes in all sports. MRSA is a bacterium that has developed resistance to most common antibiotics and usually colonizes the nose. This antibiotic resistant bacteria has crossed over into the athletic world. MRSA is quickly becoming a widespread threat to athletes in all sports.  Bacterial infections in athletes are quite common, and they inhibit their ability to compete and perform at their best. The fact that MRSA has become increasingly resistant to antibiotics creates a serious problem for both athletes and doctors since effective treatment options will be further limited.

Many of the first MRSA infections in athletes were reported in football.  Many college teams have had major difficulties controlling the spread of the bacteria, which is usually through person to person contact. The New England Journal of Medicine published a study that linked MRSA in athletes to the abrasions caused by artificial turf [1]. In addition, the State Department of Health in Texas did three studies and found that football players were 16 times more likely to be infected than the national average [2]. Sport players in football, wrestling, and soccer are among at highest risk of spreading the bacteria due to the constant bumping, hitting and direct contact with teammates and opponents. These sports also have more exposed skin and open wounds when practicing or competing.  Wounds such as turf burn abrasions, fingernail scratches or a small open blister allow the bacteria to cause an infection.  In addition, direct contact with contaminated towels or equipment can further spread the bacteria.  Once an infection develops in an athlete, it can quickly spread through the team and to opponents. Read more »

Tattoos Are A Source of MRSA Infection Too

The allure of getting all inked up is ever present as permanent tats are flaunted on the arms of bikers and sailors to that of yogi masters and sorority girls. However, the idea of a painful, oozing, serious, and even sometimes fatal skin infection is not. It is possible to sustain a MRSA infection after getting a tattoo. Even though it is rare, infection is possible when there is a break in the actual skin –Streptococcus and Staphylococcus are the two types of bacteria that can cause skin infections.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), there have been 44 cases reported thus far that show a correlation between MRSA infections and tattoos. This data was taken from 2004 and 2005, and it is likely there are even more cases that have gone unreported. The cases that were examined showed that the tattoos had been done by 13 different tatoo artists across the U.S that lacked standard sterilization technique. Just about every single person who sustained a MRSA infection was healthy and did not possess any risk factors that would make them attractive candidates for MRSA infection.

Just about anyone who gets a tattoo is at risk for contracting an infection, this is even more so when dealing with dangerous superbugs such as MRSA. MRSA is able to colonize the body of a carrier while showing no signs of poor health. In many cases, the carrier may not be aware that they have spread the bacteria through skin to skin contact, especially when it involves the surface of skin being broken. Read more »

Rapid MRSA Diagnosis needs Rapid MRSA Decolonization Therapeutics

There are several companies which offer rapid diagnostic tests for a drug-resistant staph infection known as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), one of the most common superbugs found in hospitals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that MRSA affects 90,000 Americans each year, killing about 18,000.

Rapid diagnosis of MRSA enables a healthcare facility to quickly determine if a new patient is colonized with MRSA and would enable intervention measures to be deployed more quickly. Rapid diagnosis is expected to therefore reduce  the spread of MRSA to other patients via healthcare workers who are seen to be the usual vector of transmission across the healthcare facilities. Deployment measures would include isolation chambers, full gown & glove protocols, hand washing before and after patient visits etc.  An additional use of MRSA diagnostics is the opportunity to apply intervention measures to  prevent surgical site infections since MRSA carriers run the risk of self-infection once their bodies are immuno-compromised after a surgery.

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Somebody else’s problem: Staff perceptions of MRSA

It has become increasingly clear that MRSA is a significant health challenge for the present and the future. Not only does it kill more people each year than AIDS in the US, but it is also a significant source of unnecessary patient pain and suffering. In Britain, the National Health Service has recorded a spike in contamination and infection rates, going from 2% in 1990, to 43% in 2002.

One of places currently undergoing major transitions in order to adapt to the growing problem of MRSA is the hospital environment. Here, the key element is the staff responsible for day-to-day operations concerning MRSA, namely, the health personnel. Previous studies done in this area have tended to ascribe the high incidence of MRSA infection in hospitals to a lack of staff knowledge on the subject. However, this theory has proved insufficient.

In a 2011 study, Elizabeth Morrow, Peter Griffiths, G. Gopal Rao, and Debbie Flaxman examined the relationship between infection control and the attitudes of hospital staff. More specifically, attitudes that tended to attribute the causes of MRSA to forces outside the hospital (such as senior care centers, communities, etc) or to incontrollable conditions within the hospital itself. Read more »

MRSAid™ Supports World MRSA Day – Get Active, Get Involved, Make A Difference!

The rapidly escalating human suffering and loss of life from MRSA in the United States and in other countries needs to be recognized and an immediate international response for prevention, awareness and education is imperative. – MRSA Survivors Network, Jeanine Thomas

World MRSA Day takes place this Saturday, October 1. The third annual world MRSA Day kickoff event and Global MRSA Summit will be held at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Maywood, Illinois.

October has been coined World MRSA Awareness Month in hopes that the title would generate substantial awareness on the global crisis.  Challenging the status of global inaction and educating the public on the current MRSA situation are the main objectives for the special date, and the theme for the year of 2011 is “The MRSA Epidemic: A Call to Action.”  Jeanine Thomas, the founder and president of MRSA Survivor’s Network created World MRSA day in 2009 and stands as its official organizer.  Another goal of World MRSA Day is to raise awareness about MRSA on a global scale, while reaching out to MRSA survivors, communities, governments, and healthcare professionals for their ability to educate others and prevent the spread of this superbug.

It is necessary to draw attention to the rising prevalence and serious implications of MRSA.  A study released this year shows the rise of MRSA infections in the U.S. from 2.9 million to 4.2 million throughout the period of 2009 – 2015.  Over the same time period, skin infection treatment days are slated to rise from 20 million to 30 million, with an annual toll of $9.5 billion for the U.S.  The number of deaths resulting from MRSA have now become greater than the deaths caused by HIV / AIDS per year in the United States. Despite these startling facts, there has been little discussion or significant acknowledgement from American health officials on the MRSA problem. Read more »

MRSA On The Rise Among Children

Hospitalized children colonized with MRSA have a very real risk for invasive infections, both while in the hospital and once they leave, so mitigating this risk is a serious priority – Dr. Aaron Milstone

The antibiotic resistant bacteria known as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is on the rise and children are at high risk for contracting skin infections that could develop into life threatening cases.  In a 2007 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was shown that 95,000 people had developed serious MRSA infections and that nearly 19,000 died. The rate of hospitalization among children due to skin infections has more than doubled since 2000.  Hospitalized children who carry MRSA and yet show no signs of ill health are indeed still at risk for developing full-blown MRSA infections.

A study conducted between 2007 and 2010 at John Hopkins Children’s Centre found that children carrying MRSA were six times more likely to develop serious infections after they were discharged in comparison with their non-carrier counterparts, and eight times more likely to develop invasive MRSA infections while still in the hospital. The study also found that children that had been prescribed four courses of antibiotics prior to being treated were 18 times more likely to be diagnosed with MRSA than children that had not been prescribed antibiotics. These statistics suggest that the misuse and overuse of antibiotics are placing children at higher risk of developing serious MRSA infections. Read more »

A Trip to the Hospital Turns into a Lesson in MRSA

Walking into the hospital is always daunting because it’s confusing and not a place people visit under normal circumstances.  So when I went to St. Paul’s last week after my grandpa had open heart surgery I tried to be prepared.  I looked up maps so I wouldn’t get lost meeting my sister in the hospital and set off with my “Get Well Soon” balloon in tow.  The one thing I wasn’t prepared for was the ensuing reality check.

As we began our trek to the cardiac unit, my sister insisted we stop at every hand washing station.  No, she doesn’t have obsessive compulsive disorder; she works in a hospital so she knows the importance of maintaining proper hygiene.

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“Ground Zero” for MRSA Colonization – The Nose

On this blog, we have spoken many times about the dangers of MRSA. It is now time to explore how MRSA can be detected, and what areas of the body are most often colonized.

MRSA is a versatile bacterium that lives on the skin surface. Up to 30%-40% of people have been shown to carry Staphylococcus aureus, which in its resistant forms, is commonly known as MRSA. In addition, those who are excluded from the previously stated statistic, known as non-carriers, are not necessarily free from all bacteria. Instead, their skin may be better suited for other types of bacteria.

There are big differences in colonization characteristics where MRSA is concerned.   A Read more »

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