Staying Ahead of MRSA

September 10, 2008

The MRSA bacteria, or Methicillin- Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, is a form of the extremely common staph bacteria that has adapted over time to become resistant to antibiotics. Many attribute this to the over prescription of antibiotic medications, which has resulted in a mutation of the bacteria over time to resist treatment. All of us carry staph bacteria on our skin and in our bodies, with no harm. The difference between traditional staph and MRSA is the unique ability of the MRSA bacteria to cause serious and difficult to treat infections.

MRSA exists in both healthy and unhealthy individuals. While it does not require treatment in the absence of infection, when it spreads to those with compromised immune systems or open wounds, it becomes a major concern to healthcare professionals because of its ability to cause serious infections.

According to Joseph Bruckman, MD, medical director at Floyd Memorial, “MRSA is a hot topic in the media right now, and for good reason, because it’s a very serious problem that really must be addressed. But patients at Floyd Memorial and their family members should feel safe knowing that we’re one of the first hospitals in this area to institute screening and treatment protocols aimed at proactively combating the spread of MRSA in our facilities.”

Floyd Memorial’s Preventive MRSA Protocols Include:

  • Screening all high-risk patients for active staph bacteria and MRSA, including those coming from nursing homes and other hospitals, total knee and total hip replacement surgery patients, thoracic surgery patients, open-heart surgery patients and all patients admitted to the intensive care unit.
  • Performing a simple nasal swab to detect the presence of MRSA immediately upon admission and prior to any procedures taking place.
  • Isolation and treatment of patients who screen positive for active staph and MRSA infection with special antibiotics and cleansing treatments to eradicate the infection and avoid its spread to others.
  • Thoroughly cleaning rooms between patients and removing any articles that cannot be effectively sanitized.

“MRSA is a hot topic in the media right now, and for good reason, because it’s a very serious problem that really must be addressed. But patients at Floyd Memorial and their family members should feel safe knowing that we’re one of the first hospitals in this area to institute screening and treatment protocols aimed at proactively combating the spread of MRSA in our facilities.”

-Joseph Bruckman, MD Medical Director Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services