Any facility that has a large population living together has an increase risk of having a MRSA outbreak. Nursing homes and other facilities like hospitals, group homes, prisons, etc. can all be at risk of an outbreak when proper testing, care, and sterilizing procedures are not followed.
Residents at nursing homes may be at a higher risk because of other health issues and their lifestyle may cause their immune system to be weakened. Following required procedures by staff and management can reduce the risk of MRSA in nursing homes.
The steps include identifying carriers, proper wound care, and improving immune systems. Education is also important to help recognize the signs and symptoms of MRSA and implementing preventive measures to avoid the spread of it.
MRSA Risk: In Nursing Homes
In a nursing home there is the risk of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) being spread because of the high population in most nursing homes. Other factors that contribute to the risks of acquiring it in a nursing home:
- Compromised immune system
- Shared equipment
- Sterilized environment
- Susceptible skin
- Close quarters
- Existing medical issues
- Non-compliant residents
- High percentage of carriers
- Population density
With appropriate precautions implemented, MRSA testing, and prompt treatment nursing home residents can avoid a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection.
Nursing Home Residents With MRSA
Some nursing home residents may have illnesses that affect their reasoning. An infected resident may not understand why they need to take precautions to avoid spreading MRSA among fellow residents. They might not remember to sanitize shared equipment that they come in contact with or keep a wound covered. Often, if there is a shortage of staff, proper precautionary practices may be skipped when caring for a nursing home resident who is infected with the bacteria. For residents with other health issues or a compromised immune system, the bacteria can spread quickly and become serious.
Preventing In Nursing Homes
To prevent MSA in nursing homes, residents and workers should be screened to see if they are a carrier. Proper education of residents and workers is also very helpful in preventing it in nursing homes. Once there is an infection, it important the resident be treated promptly and follow proper sanitizing procedures. Communication among staff is essential to avoid an outbreak from occurring in the facility.
Treating In Nursing Homes
It is wise to isolate residents with MRSA to avoid the spread of this infection. Since the bacteria can live on surfaces, all surfaces should be sanitized and disposable barriers should be worn by anyone caring for or visiting the resident. The wound and surrounding area should be covered to prevent contact with the MRSA bacteria. Prompt treatment is essential to avoid the spread of the infection to organs or other parts of the body. Treatment should be carefully monitored to be sure that it is effective. Sometimes hospitalization may be needed to treat it, depending on the health of the resident.
A nursing home may present a higher risk for an outbreak of MRSA, but with proper education, effective treatment, and preventive procedures an outbreak can be avoided.