This really stinks......hubby has MRSA on his hands!

  1. Well imagine my reaction last night while I was at work and here comes DH and the House Supervisor to tell me he had to go home because he had MRSA and couldn't work until the facility MD evaluated the situation today and came up with a plan of action. My knees buckled and now I have several concerns, not just for him, but for myself. By now many of you knw that even after 10 years of marriage, I cannot keep away from him for long so now I'm concerned over my recent bout with pneumonia and am wondering if it was pneumonia in my lungs or could I have MRSA because we constantly kiss and if his hands were to have contaiminated his beard, isn't it possible that I could have gotten it from him??? Especially since I am still have symptoms and bring up very nasty, thick sputum. I have a follow up MD appointment tomorrow. Also, and this is really embarrassing but I'm concerned I could have MRSA in my urinary tract because my uring smells very foul, is cloudy and has a sharp pain at the end of each elimination. I'm thinking about requesting a urine and sputum culture. Do you think I'm over reacting or being paranoid???? Please give advice ASAP because my appointment is tomorrow and I need to know if I have a legitimate concern or if I'm just over reacting. HELP................also, to explain where his MRSA is......he has had blisters filled with purulent discharge forming on his hands for the past few months that appear, rupture, then dry up. We just thought he had a latex reaction but it could be a combo of that and that he was contaminated in one of the blisters by one of our MRSA patients. His washes his hands about a gazillion times a day but he is like me, a hugger and he has all the little old ladies at work in love with him, as he spoils them to pieces with hugs and affection and this is the way we figured he obtained it. Please, I need your input??????
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  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    I don't think you're over reacting or being paranoid. Whether it's for yourself or for the saftey of your patients, you should be careful and be SURE!

    Let us know how both of your appointments go!

    Heather
  4. by   jnette
    Agree with Heather, Duckie......by all means, get it checked out. Wish you and hubs the best. Don't delay. :kiss
  5. by   JonRN
    Good luck Duckie and Mr. Duckie.......please keep us posted.

    Pappy
  6. by   duckie
    Hubby returned a bit ago from seeing our facility MD. That have started him on an antibiotic that should cure it and also have given him a topical medication to use. He wil be allowed to return to work but must wear gloves while there. I won't know the outcome about me till I see the MD tomorrow. What is that old saying....."when it rains, it pours!" Oh well, will go with the flow and see what happens. Thanks for your input.
  7. by   sunnygirl272
    get yourself checked out!!!!!
    keep us posted....
  8. by   Tweety
    A sputum and urine culture are definately in order here. Good luck and get well soon!
  9. by   CANRN
    Get checked out! Good Luck
  10. by   rncountry
    I'm confused, was his hands cultured or the blisters? What s/sx does he have of active infection? What med was he put on? I do infection control and would want more questions answered. According to estimates approximately 40% of healthcare workers are colonized with MRSA. That is why I am asking where his culture was obtained from. The other thing is that the only way to "cure" MRSA is with IV Vanco. Even those who have had active MRSA are considered colonized after treatment and no futher s/sx of active infection.
    I am thinking that the blisters are caused by something that is not MRSA. Because of the amount of direct contact your husband has had with patients(LTC?)and open areas, he has a colonized MRSA that is not giving an active infection. If the MRSA is not actively infectious than only the process that made the blisters should be treated. Colonized MRSA without active infection should not be treated.
    Now since he is at least colonized, yes, of course it can be passed to you. That said most people who are not immune compromised will not pick up an active MRSA. However you may have been colonized as well, and with a recent illness may have been compromised enough to let the MRSA become active. I hope I am making sense here. Just know that chances are you do not have an active infectious MRSA, but may very well be colonized. That colonization may or may not have come from your husband, since you may have been in contact with it at work as well.
    Where I work we are an acute care long term facility. We do swabs on admission for both VRE and MRSA, all of our patients come from other facilities and the vast majority are in high risk catagories. I break down the amounts of MRSA/VRE patients we have every quarter. The ones we know by history before they come in, the ones that we find a colonized but not active infection through swabs and the ones that end up with a nosocomial MRSA/VRE. In the last quarter a third of the patients we admitted were known by history, both active and colonized. Another quarter were found with a colonization through swab cultures and less than 5% were nosocomial MRSA or VRE. All patients that have either a colonization or an active infection are put into contact precautions. We follow CDC guidelines strictly. The reason I wondered if your husband works in LTC is because it is rare to find a LTC facility that can actually follow those guidelines. Most don't even follow universal precautions broad. That means any time a patient is incontinent and requires changing by staff than they should not only glove but also gown. Same thing when wounds are dressed. Having worked in LTC for 5 years I can say I never saw that done in any facility I worked.
    If I were you, I would certainly want a UA and sputum culture done, not only because you have been exposed to MRSA. But the s/sx you have already sound like at least a bacterial infection of some sort.
    Let us know what they find. Hope you don't mind but I am really curious to find out.
  11. by   almostanurse
    I have never understood, is it the bug that is past that is resistent, or the person. say I have never been resistent to any form of antibiotic, does that mean I cant get mrsa? Or is it the bug itself that is resistent? sorry if this is a stupid question but I still dont understand
  12. by   ?burntout
    The only way to "cure" MRSA is with IV Vanco
    While this is the standard in our hospital, there is also a po antibiotic that is given to help clear MRSA-ZYVOX.....
    I took this drug 2 yrs ago myself for post-op cellulitis after a routine diagnostic lap....my wound cultured out MRSA and Group B Strep......was on massive doses of antibiotics for 8 days (Vanco was added on day 4-before I cultured out MRSA)..My infectious disease doc put me on the ZYVOX at discharge....
  13. by   ?burntout
    Originally posted by almostanurse
    I have never understood, is it the bug that is past that is resistent, or the person. say I have never been resistent to any form of antibiotic, does that mean I cant get mrsa? Or is it the bug itself that is resistent? sorry if this is a stupid question but I still dont understand
    It is the bug-MRSA-methicillin resistant Staph. aerus....
    You can be exposed to this bacteria no matter what kind of antibiotics you are resistant to or not.....

    NO QUESTION IS STUPID
  14. by   abrenrn
    Another thing I've experienced! Really.

    Working in outpatient setting, I got a pretty bad blister on my hand. Since I had not yet figured that all my itching was due to latex sensitivity, I frequently ended up with little areas of non-intact skin - not major, just cracks and stuff.

    The blister looked ugly and I went to my doctor. There was a little elevation in WBC, Believe it or not, this led the doctor to worry about endocarditis (a possiblity that had occurred to me) and despite lack of murmur,we both felt deserved hospital work up, IV antibiotics until proven otherwise (well, she didn't quite know I had agreed with her decision, I told her I'd go).

    So, in I go, blood work. echo, IV something or other. Echo negative, not really febrile, finger getting worse. So, my doctor wants a culture. But, she wants a surgeon. Because this is on my hand (the amazing expanding blister) general surgeons refused, took another night to get a hand surgeon. Who, by the way, did the same thing I could have done, stuck a pin (sterile needle) in my blister, and got some pus. He said, "I'm sure this won't show anything." Overall behavior, what's behind this big deal. Which, I'm beginning to think myself, starting to call this the ten thousand dollar blister. I got a little concerned when I spiked a fever (about 103) after he stuck the needle in my finger. I thought might be related, others did not, just a fever.

    Shortly after, I'm seen by ID guy. I'm feeling fine except for the finger, the fever's gone, I want to go home. Then I discover:

    MRSA INFECTION!!!!

    So, now it's serious again. Started IV Vanco, couple of doses in hospital, then sent home with home health for two week course or something.

    I'm feeling fine, no more fevers, the job, of course, needs to know exactly when I'll be back. I know I'm fine for work (ID stuff later), but my Vanco is timed during work hours and the IV in my arm might get in my way.

    I looked at my culture report, also thought, "Isn't this really just a local infection now?" At follow up, I pointed out to ID guy - thank god, one who actully listened to patients. I basically said, look, this seems local to me and it says MRSA is sensitive to Bactroban. Can't I just do wound care with Bactroban, I know how to do that. I can take Cipro to be safe.

    He said, well bactroban works, if its local it will. Cipro - it says it's sensitive on report, but MRSA is resistant after a day or two.

    I said let's pretend it's local then. If it isn't, I promise, I'll come right back.

    He said, OK, but might as well take the Cipro.

    So, IV pulled, back to work the next day, used bactroban, took the cipro, all got better.

    In terms of ID: My setting was outpatient, health dept. So, MRSA is in the community. The director of the county dept (MD, MPH)saw no problem with me working in community setting given all the above.

    So my, pRobably greater than $10K finger amazing expanding blister was a local MRSA infection, transmitted in a non-hospital setting to a susceptible host (non-intact skin). There were no full blown systemic symptoms until the C&S - sent it right into my bloodstream but I think my body reacted pretty quickly with fever. Though fever gone by the time I took Vanco, probably couple of days did help.

    I suppose its possible that I got the MRSA in the hospital but until treated with Vanco, then Bactroban, blister kept growing.

    TALES FROM THE HEALTCARE SYSTEM
    Last edit by abrenrn on Nov 5, '02

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