Bacterial Infections

  1. I am not sure I understand MRSA, acinectobactor, and the other resistant bacteria.

    I know we were supposed to learn this in micro, but I'm confused. Ok, c diff is present in most people's intestines right? So is it only a problem when it gets in other areas of the body? And am I right that in the very ill who may not have fully functioning immune systems that the certain strain that they have mutates and becomes resistant to medication?

    Next, is staph only supposed to be present on the skin and not inside the body at all so when a person is injured and it gets inside the body it causes problems?

    I think what I'm asking is are these bacteria mostly harmful to very sick people and when we use standard precautions and isolation we are trying to prevent spreading these bacteria to the other very ill patients in the unit? So in essense, evem if we came into contact with the bacteria on our intact skin and our immune systems are normal that we would probably have no ill effects?

    I hope my question is not too confusing and that someone that knows a little more can answer my questions.
    Last edit by Lisa CCU RN on Nov 3, '07
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    About Lisa CCU RN

    Joined: Aug '05; Posts: 1,721; Likes: 160
    Registered Nurse
    Specialty: Geriatrics, Cardiac, ICU


  3. by   Becca608
    Quote from CRNASOMEDAY25
    I am not sure I understand MRSA, acinectobactor, and the other resistant bacteria.

    I know we were supposed to learn this in micro, but I'm confused.
    You might want to go back and review your microbiology notes. Twice.

    Any bacteria normally present on the surface of the skin have the capacity to cause problems when introduced to the inside of the body

    MRSA is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. What that means is that is a strain of bacteria that has developed resistance to an antibiotic that the medical community depends on for destroying staph infections. It can be life-threatening.

    MRSA is harmful to all people and can put a healthy 6'2" athlete in the bed. It is out there in the community now, so we will all be seeing more of it.

    The best way to prevent the spread of any microbe is by using the universal standard precautions.
    Last edit by Becca608 on Nov 3, '07
  4. by   august07
    Yes, C.diff is present in very small amounts in everyone's intestines, the problem is when it overtakes the "good bacteria" like when people are on on abx, especially long term abx and when people are immunocompromised. It's all about keeping a balance. The lactobacillus is the "good bacteria." This same thing happens when people get yeast infections when on abx because the abx kills off the good bacteria and the yeast take over. I don't think C.diff is found in other areas of the body unless for instance, you perforated your intestines. Some people have chronic problems with C.diff because they don't have enough lactobacillus,they are on long term abx, etc. Most people are just treated with Flagyl and/or Vanc.Staph is present on our skin, like Staph aureus and Staph epidermis. The problem is when these bacteria get in places they're not supposed to be, like your blood stream. You have bacteria naturally on your skin, in your throat, intestines, vagina,etc. It's all about keeping those bacteria where they should be and in the right proportions. When I use gowns,gloves, etc. is it more for the sake of other patients than it is for me. I probably won't get sick from touching an isolation pt. but I sure can pass it to the next 3 patients pretty easily.
  5. by   Lisa CCU RN
    Thanks, you answered my questions. And yes, Jedi, I know all about good bacteria and bad bacteria and imbalance after antibiotics, but it's been over four years since micro and I wanted to know the exacts behind the issues with it. I was really wondering what kind of risk is posed to me.

    I think I am just freaked out because of all the talk about it in the news.

    Thanks again.
  6. by   EmmaG