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The Dangers of MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)

Created Nov 24 2014, 7:00 PM by Lippincott Solutions
  • CDC
  • Center for Disease Control
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • dangers
  • MRSA
  • hospital-acquired infections

Tuesday, November 25, 2014
MRSA remains a health threat for both patients and clinicians, but nurses can aid in prevention.

In good news for healthcare facilities battling MRSA, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved an IV antibiotic to treat dangerous skin infections, such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSA. Oritavancin (Orbactiv) is designed for people with skin and skin structure infections caused by MRSA and other drug-resistant bacteria.

Orbactiv is used to treat serious or life-threatening infections and has the potential to decrease hospital length of stay and even prevent hospitalizations altogether since it could be administered in a physician's office.

Drug-Resistant Infections a Growing Concern

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 2 million Americans are infected every year with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. MRSA can cause severe problems such as bloodstream infections, pneumonia and surgical site infections. Despite new advances in drug development, drug-resistant infections are a growing concern nationwide, and drug companies are trying everything to slow the epidemic.

MRSA Safe Practices

The CDC recommends the following safe practices for MRSA Prevention. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers should:

  • Perform hand hygiene with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub before and after contact with the patient or the patient’s environment.
  • Carefully clean and disinfect hospital rooms and medical equipment.
  • Use contact precautions when caring for patients with MRSA. Contact precautions mean:
    • Whenever possible, patients with MRSA should have a single room or share a room only with someone else who also has MRSA.
    • Healthcare providers should put on gloves when touching the patient and the patient’s environment or belongings.
    • Wear a gown over their clothing if contact with the patient or their environment is anticipated.
    • Visitors may also be asked to wear a gown and gloves.
    • When leaving the patient’s room, healthcare providers and visitors remove their gown and gloves and perform hand hygiene.
  • Test high-risk patients to see if they’re colonized (they carry the bacteria but aren’t infected) with MRSA.  To test for MRSA colonization, a nasal swab specimen is collected, placed onto a special medium, incubated, and then evaluated for the growth of MRSA.

What precautions do you take to prevent the spread of MRSA?