Taking MRSA precautions will help prevent an infection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a staph infection that is resistant to many antibiotics. In healthcare facilities and in the community, it is important to know how to prevent getting this bacterial infection.
When precautions fail, it will be important to get prompt treatment for a MRSA infection and to take precautions to prevent the spread of the bacteria to others.
Know The Basics
Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the most basic precautions that can be done to prevent the spread of MRSA. Following proper hand washing procedures will assure that your hands are clean and that you are not carrying or spreading the bacteria. Other basic MRSA precautions include the following:
- Avoid overusing antibiotics, seek out alternatives when sick
- Take antibiotics as directed when it is necessary to take them
- Cover cuts, punctures, abrasions, rashes, etc. on the skin when in environments that may present a MRSA risk
- Use barriers when using shared surfaces
Soap and water or alcohol based disinfectants are better than antibacterial products that may only kill weak bacteria and allow other stronger bacteria to reproduce or mutate into resistant strains.
In Healthcare Facilities
Healthcare facilities will need to prevent the spread of HA-MRSA (hospital acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). Since people who are in the hospital or other healthcare facility are there because of a health issue, they are at a higher risk of getting an infection because their immune system is already weakened. This makes it more important to follow MRSA precautions like the following:
- Wearing gloves
- Washing hands thoroughly
- Protect eyes, mouth, and nose from fluids
- Wear gowns
- Follow equipment and surface sanitation procedures
- Don’t allow patients to share personal hygiene items
Any breaks in the skin should be cleaned and covered. Patients should be tested for MRSA colonization and when there is colonization the patient will need to be isolated and treated. MRSA can be acquired in the community.
In the Community
CA-MRSA is community acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Precautions need to be taken in the community to prevent an infection. Places that CA-MRSA can be spread:
- Fitness facilities
- Athletic fields
- Childcare centers
- Group homes
Precautions include placing a barrier between shared surfaces and the skin. Placing a towel on a surface will create a barrier. Showering and changing clothes will also help prevent the spread of the bacteria if you are exposed to it.
When Precautions Failed
When MRSA precautions fail, treatment will be necessary. In addition to treatment, the infected area will need to be covered and steps taken to avoid the spread of the bacteria to others that come in contact with the infected person.
Basic MRSA precautions can go a long way, especially hand washing. Though there is no way to avoid the bacteria, good hygiene and a strong immune system will reduce your risks of getting HA-MRSA or CA-MRSA. Prompt diagnosis will increase the success of treatment when precautions fail and an infection is acquired.