Preventing MRSA with soap and water

Checking into a Kentucky hospital, most people are probably aware that hospital-acquired infections are a risk. According to WebMD, staph bacteria may be carried by people who do not currently have an infection, and can be transmitted through contact. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, in particular, is easily spread.

When a person does develop a MRSA infection, it may not respond to treatment--a factor that has led the medical community to refer to it as a "super bug." MRSA is resistant to many common antibiotics, such as the following:

  • Penicillin
  • Amoxicillin
  • Oxacillin
  • Methicillin

MRSA continues to adapt quickly to resist new antibiotics as they are developed.

The risk of MRSA can be offset with rigorous infection control techniques. However, one of the simplest methods is good hand hygiene. Not only is it simple, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hand hygiene is high on the list as far as effectiveness, as well.

Naturally, health care workers should wash their hands when they leave a patient's room, and when they enter the next patient's room. They may need to wash their hands with soap and water after performing one task or procedure with a patient, before starting on the next with the same person. Cross-contamination between body sites can result in an infection. 

Health care workers should always wear gloves when there is a chance that they will come in contact with body fluids, wounds, or skin that may have bacteria on it. However, they should still wash their hands when they take the gloves off. The gloves themselves should never be washed and reused. 

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