How to prevent community-acquired MRSA

Essay by crazychika January 2006

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CA-MRSA is becoming the predominant pathogen associated with sever invasive and soft-tissue infections in many parts of the United States. These infections are easily spread among family members and other close contacts. Consequently, nurses should inform patients of the following special precautions to take to prevent spreading CA-MRSA infections:

Wash hands and dry with disposable paper or air blowers.

Keep skin lesions (e.g., boils, open sores, wounds, and cuts) covered with clean, dry bandages.

Limit sharing of personal items, such as towels, washcloths, clothing (including athletic uniforms and protective gear), razors, antiperspirants, and soap.

Wash soiled clothing and linens in hot water (over 160 F) and laundry detergent. Dry clothing in a hot dryer rather than air-drying it.

Avoid participating in contact sports or the other skin-to-skin contact until skin lesions have healed.

Use a towel or layer of clothing as a barrier between bare skin and surface of shared equipment (e.g.,

benches, exercise machines, and massage tables).

Wipe surfaces of shared equipment with disinfectant before and after use, especially if surface has become wet with sweat. A dilute bleach solution can be an economical disinfectant outside the hospital environment.

Inform all health care providers who treat you if you have MRSA.

Infections with CA-MRSA are becoming increasingly prevalent among young, otherwise healthy adults and children in the United States. Nurses can minimize the risk of becoming infected with CA-MRSA or of spreading the infection to others by practicing frequent hand hygiene and by following contact precautions when caring for patients with draining wounds. Check your facility's policy on the care of these patients.