The Infection Control and Prevention committee has established a program to prevent the transmission of bacteria in the hospital. A component of this prevention program includes periodic screening of patients in the hospital and Renaissance unit for MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staph aureus). This information is used to identify patients who may be "colonized" with the bacteria.
Individuals can be "colonized" in their nose with different kinds of bacteria. Colonization means that you have the bacteria in your nose but it is not causing any infection. Since the nose filters all the air prior to entering the lungs, individuals can be colonized with many types of bacteria. It is important to always use tissues when touching the nose, discard the tissues in the trash and to clean your hands immediately.
MRSA is Staph bacteria normally found on the body, which is resistant to a certain antibiotic (Methicillin) and possibly other antibiotics. Your doctor will be notified if you test positive for MRSA. To control the transmission of MRSA, patients who test positive are placed on Contact Precautions. Contact Precautions include placing a person in a private room or with another colonized patient. We follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Contact precautions mean that staff caring for you will wear gloves and possibly gowns in your room.
The best means to prevent the spread of MRSA is through proper hand hygiene. Cleanse your hands with alcohol hand rub or with soap and water.
If you have questions, please notify your nurse. She will contact the Infection Control and Prevention department, who will contact you. You or your family may also contact the nurse in the Infection Control and Prevention Department directly by dialing 4266.
We hope this information will help you understand MRSA and the hospital program to provide a safe environment for all patients/residents.