Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus

1655 words 7 pages
Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus

Staphylococcus aureus is an important and common pathogen in humans. It is found in the nose or on the skin of many healthy, asymptomatic persons (i.e., carriers) and can cause infections with clinical manifestations ranging from pustules to sepsis and death. Most transmission occurs through the contaminated hands of a person infected with or carrying S. aureus. MRSA infections frequently are encountered in health-care settings (Lowy, 1998). A common cause of blood-stream infections, pneumonia, endocarditits, skin and soft tissue infections, and bone and joint infections, S. aureus infection is often associated with significant morbidity and mortality. S. aureus is well adapted to the
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Only recently has the magnitude of symptomatic MRSA infection in older patients living in long term care facilities been identified and documented. Approximately 2.5 million Americans reside in LTCFs, and more than 1 million who turned 65 in 1990 are expected to live in a LTCF before they die (Kempner and Murtaugh, 1991, cited in McNeil et al 2002). The number of such facilities reporting asymptomatic colonization or infection of residents with MRSA has been steadily increasing since the late 1980s (Strausbaugh, et. al., 1996). The factors and rates of colonization vary by geographic location; facility size, prevalence of MRSA in referring institutions; severity of illness of the patient population and institutional infection control practices (McNeil, Mody and Bradley, 2002). Concerns over the potential of MRSA into LTCFs from the acute care settings have prompted many nursing homes to refuse patients known to be colonized with MRSA, and they actively screen high-risk, high-probability patients upon arrival. Residents found to be colonized after admission are frequently isolated with other colonized patients or placed under strict contact precautions. These actions may be justifiable, but they place undue hardship on both the staff and the patients of LTCFs. Patients may be long-term residents of the facility, or may even live there permanently – policies that restrict their movement


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