MRSA Mayhem Can Be Prevented With Simple Precautions
Is Danger Among The Daises?
What To Look For?
Any wound, like a cut, pimple, insect bite, scrape, rash, mouth or nasal sore that becomes infected.
Signs of infection: Redness, soreness,swelling, heat (warm to touch or the wounded says the area feels hot), drainage (pus), and odor (all wounds with odors need to see by a doctor immediately).
What Is MRSA?
Staphloccus bacteria, also known as staph is common in about one third of the population. It lives on the body and nasal passages of humans and animals.
MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) is a form of staph bacteria that has become resistant to antibiotics, which means... it has become very hard to treat with regular medication. So, it's important to get treatment as soon as possible before an infection becomes fatal.
Healthy people can actually be carriers of both the staph bacteria and MRSA, but not be ill, unfortunately... they can still pass the bacteria on to others.
While it's almost impossible not to ever be exposed to staph or MRSA, there are precautions you can take to reduce your risk of getting it.
What Do I Do?
- Contact your doctor at the first early signs of infection.
- Ask your doctor to test for MRSA before he starts antibiotics.
- Follow treatment as prescribed and always finish your antibiotic prescriptions even if you do not have MRSA, or feel better.
How Do You Know A Wound is Infected?
- Early on... the wound will become red, swollen, and feel hot to the victim.
- Wounds on fingers and toes will make them feel stiff from the swelling.
- Later... the wound develops an oozing yellow pus, more pain, redness swelling, anyone can feel the heat around the wound, and later still, smell an odor.
*Not finishing prescription antibiotics can lead to a super infection like MRSA that becomes resistant to antibiotics*
Wash Your Hands
Doctors and nurses know the number one defense against germs is proper hand washing, yet a recent study by the Minnesota health department showed that people are not doing it.... and the ones that were observed washing, were actually rinsing without soap.
Wash hands or use an alcohol based sanitizer anytime you come in contact with body fluids or private parts, yours, your child's, anyone's. Btw... blowing your nose is considered contact with a body fluid.
Also, wash after contact with human or animal waste or meats, and always before leaving a public restroom.
Don't Share Personal Items
People are not the only carriers of MRSA or other germs. Towels, clothes, make up, flip flops, electric and regular razors, and deodorant, just to name a few, all harbor germs.
Cover any wound until healed. Besides keeping wounds covered, keep them dry.
Proper Hand Washing
Start warm running water, and rinse hands.
Apply soap and lather up all areas of hands including, wrists, between fingers, backs of hands, and under nails. This should take at least 60 seconds.
Rinse and dry with disposable towel or completely air dry.
Use towel to turn off faucet.
If necessary use a clean towel to turn knobs to exit bathrooms. You'll never know if the last visitor had clean hands.
Break Bread With Clean Hands
Wet bandages will allow germs in and send them out. The same goes for pus or drainage, change wound dressings often to keep them dry.
4) Wash Contaminated Items
Use hot water with a little bleach to sanitize any items, like bed linens, ice packs, soaking bowls, or most non-living things that have come in contact with a wound. Use a dishwasher's heat dry and clothes dryers to really sterilize.
If on carpet or areas where bleach can't be used Lysol is a better bet than nothing.
5) Insist To Be Tested
If your doctor is going to treat an infected wound with antibiotics, insist to be tested for MRSA, especially if the patient is young, elderly, or has low resistance to disease (chemo patients, patients with influenza, HIV).
Treating MRSA with the wrong antibiotics will make it stronger and deadlier.
And...always finish your prescription antibiotics. Many of the world's strongest antibiotic resistant diseases can be traced back to super infections caused by non-compliance with antibiotic treatment.
Make Sure They Are Safe...
Don’t Forget The Kids and Frail
Children, infirm elderly, and hospitalized patients are especially vulnerable to become victims of MRSA because they rely on adults and caregivers to keep them healthy.
Caregivers need to ensure the cleanliness of their environments and need to be informed of any illness or infections of persons in their charge.
How Can You Assure Quality Care?
- If you see a wound, report it to the caregiver, as they may not beware of it.
- If hospitalized or in the doctor's office, insist that you see them wash their hands before touching you or your child.
- If housekeepers wear gloves, insist that they change them when they move from room to room. Housekeeper's dirty gloves are a major contaminant, as they clean washrooms then use the same gloves to open doors.
- Report to the school office or charge nurse anytime you feel caregivers or staff may be cross contaminating with equipment, clothing, or gloves.
Remember... It's your right to receive quality care.
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