MRSA in my patient.

  1. In home health I have been ordered to do a dressing change on a woman who has MRSA. I don't know a lot about MRSA, expect that it is something you sure don't want to catch and my manager told me to be sure to wear my gloves.
    Can anyone tell me more about this?
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    About Jo Dirt

    Joined: May '04; Posts: 3,422; Likes: 1,297
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  3. by   TheCommuter
    I have dressed many MRSA wounds without ever being actively infected by it. People with normally-functioning immune systems usually have little to worry about. The elderly, children, and other immunocompromised groups are at the highest risk of contracting MRSA, so your biggest fear should be to avoid bringing it home to your kids (if you have any). Many healthcare workers already have MRSA colonized within their bodies without any evidence of active infection.

    Just use contact precautions when caring for MRSA-infected patients. By the way, MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant staph aureus.
  4. by   GatorRN
    As the previous post stated MRSA stands for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. Just to clarify a little further this means that this particular persons staph infection is resistant to Methicillin. Not all staph infections are resistant to Methicillin and can be treated with other antibiotics. Methicillin is usually only used when other antibiotics have failed to clear the infection. Infections that are resistant to Methicillin are becoming more and more common as the bacteria mutates, in part due to the overuse or incorrect use of antibiotics. Meaning when someone stops taking their prescribed antibiotics after a few days and doesn't complete the entire prescribed dose.

    This patient is likely being treated now with Vancomycin. I have done many dressing changes on pts with MRSA. I have never contracted it from doing a dressing change. Of course, these pts were in isolation rooms and nobody was to enter the room without gown, mask, and gloves, nor walk out of the room with the isolation garb on. Be careful touching not only the wound but bedsheets or other things the area may have come in contact with without gloves at a minimum. And be sure you wash you hands well afterwards.
  5. by   Larry77
    I'm a little concerned that an RN doesn't know what MRSA is, this is a very common superbug that any medical professional should be aware of...including CNA's, LPN's, and RN's.

    I would study up on super infections and how they are spread via contact, droplets etc.
  6. by   Tweety
    Larry the poster is only wanting to enhance her/his current knowledge. The post didn't indicate they didn't know what MRSA is. Responses of judgement, rather than answering the question is why some people are afraid to ask questions.
    Last edit by Tweety on Aug 11, '06
  7. by   Tweety
    MedScape recently had a good article on MRSA, but I deleted it. Here's their website.

    Definately use contact precautions. This type of patient should also be scheduled last, or you should bring a change of clothes and change before you see your next patient.

    I'm surprised your agency doesn't have more information and a policy.

    Good luck
  8. by   Jo Dirt
    Larry that does it. I KNOW WHAT MRSA IS. What I'm not familiar with is caring for a patient who has it. I'm stressed out enough to lose sleep over this job as it is, and "helpful" remarks like that only confirm one of the reasons why I want out of this business.

    You should think about it before you shoot from the hip with remarks like that.

    I think that is all the advice I need from your end, thank you.

    I went to change her dressing last night. I have to pack it with betadine soaked 4x4's twice a day. I didn't wear a gown or mask, but I didn't touch her without gloves on. What happened is she attempted to give herself a home tattoo and it got infected and they had to lance out a large chunk of her breast. She ended up with MRSA. She had a lot of people running around in her home including a 2 yr. old grand daughter. I've just never (knowingly) worked with this disease before.
    Last edit by Jo Dirt on Aug 11, '06
  9. by   momdebo
    I had a home health pt with MRSA, had it for soooooo long, was most definately colonized, however, I would save her for last. This pt had ulcerative wounds on both lower extremities, dressings would be dripping wet some days, she kept a chux on the floor space of her scooter but I was always very careful. When I would get home the clothes I had on were off on the back porch (good thing I live in the middle of nowhere!) and washed by themselves immediately. Be careful touching things in the home, wash hands and I would always use hand sanitizer after leaving the home and before touching my own car.