MRSA in Sputum, didn't know had?

  1. I don't know if this is a dumb question or not but I'm going to ask it anyways. I am such a paranoid freak. I know it's the type of thing that you have to encounter while working with sick people. But what if someone has MRSA in the sputum and you didn't know or incidentally got exposed to them while they were coughing or something? For a healthy person how easy is it for someone to catch MRSA in the sputum?

    Do you know of any nurses that have caught MRSA in the sputum and what has been the plan of action? If you have a history of determined MRSA in the sputum do they let you continue to work?
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    About ANH_RN

    Joined: Jul '08; Posts: 98; Likes: 36
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    8 Comments

  3. by   anurseuk
    The only time I've heard of a member of staff contracting MRSA from a patient was when he had an open wound on his hand.
    If you're healthy, no open wounds then the chances of you contracting MRSA are very slim.
    Bare in mind that some healthy people carry MRSA on their skin with no ill effects.
  4. by   FLArn
    I suppose about the same as catching it from the person next to you at the store, bank, church, buffet line, etc. Most MRSA is now community acquired which is why patients get nasal swabs on admit for MRSA screening.
  5. by   PostOpPrincess
    MRSA is EVERYWHERE......
  6. by   nursecassia
    I think you just have to protect yourself from people as if they did have it, dont stand too close in the line of fire and wash your hands...It is everywhere, I know for a fact some nurses I work with have it....Just keep yourself healthy, if you spend time overthinking what you could get you will start to drive yourself insane.
  7. by   NeoNurseTX
    We swab our babies q Mon for MRSA in the nares. I'm sure we all have it and will just never know.
  8. by   mama_d
    I've been in healthcare for a decade now, and as of six months ago my nasal swab was negative...I got screened prior to surgery, just in case. I deal with LOTS of MRSA patients, so I don't know if I've been lucky or if the kind we get in the hospital is just hard for a healthy person to grow.
  9. by   kanzi monkey
    You won't INHALE it (ie, via droplet or airborne); if a pt has MRSA in their sputum, the only way you can get it is through direct contact with the sputum--the same as if it came from a wound. I guess if they sneeze or gleek (I love that word) directly on you that could be a problem. I haven't seen MRSA in the sputum before--do people get pneumonia caused by staph? I'd have to look that up.
  10. by   Mammy1111
    My father died of hospital acquired MRSA pneumonia. He was in the hospital for 6 days before it was diagnosed, so nobody used precautions before that, including me or my family. I helped care for him and I was actually the person who requested a sputum culture and I obtained it for the staff nurse.
    Undoubtedly, I was exposed to MRSa. MRSA in the lungs can be spewed up to 4 feet around a patient with a cough. So, that much of his immediate environment may be contamintated with MRSA.
    I haven't been cultured or screened. If something comes up that I need surgery or hospitalization, I will demand a MRSA screening...for my own sake and that of any future hospital roommates. My mother also helped care for my father and she had a nasal culture done before recent surgery. She tested negative, even after extensive exposure to MRSA.
    Most MRSA does NOT come from the community. It is believed that almost 85% of MRSA is health care related. It is because CDC and hospitals have ignored the ever increasing pandemic of MRSA infections. It is easier for hospitals to ignore infections by not screening admissions to their hospitals. It takes effort and planning to stop MRSA infections. Instead, most hospitals, supported by inadequate recommendations from CDC, react to deadly active infections rather than prevent them.
    Representative Jackie Speier of California introduced HR 2739 on June 24. I spoke about my father's death at that event in Washington DC. This bill will phase in universal screening over a 5 year period and mandate MRSA Isolation, precautions, disclosure and reporting. This bill addresses what hospitals have failed to address regarding MRSA infections. Nurses are front line caregivers. Administrations who do not enact preventative measures (ie, active detection and Isolation) for MRSA put their front line caregivers and patients at a disadvantage and at risk of MRSA infection.

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