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Isolation with MRSA in sputum


Has 9 years experience.

It goes against my instinct to put someone in CONTACT isolation when their sputum specimen grows out MRSA. Yet this is my hospital's protocol. Could someone please clarify this for me? Why wouldn't it be droplet *and* contact?

Thanks, J


Specializes in Med/Surg.

This is also our hospital policy. Our policy is anyone with a history of MRSA or someone who has active MRSA goes on contact precautions until their nasal swab comes back negative. Now what I dont understand is if its in their sputum why do we not wear masks? Especially if they are coughing.....

Same policy with us, yet everyone tries to put them on airborne isolation. The reason is that when the person coughs, the droplets do not stay in the air. They immediately fall onto whatever surface is below. That's why it's contact and not airborne. Now, if you're going to be doing something right in their face, it is probably a good idea to have a mask on anyway, but that would be just to protect your face. You can't really "breathe in" MRSA. At least, that is the way I understand it. Hope that helps!

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