MRSA. A Description



MRSA

The Long Name is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which is a type of Staphylococcus aureus (Golden Staph) that is resistant to methicillin and other related antibiotics of the penicillin class, is commonly found on the skin and/or in the noses of healthy people.

Penicillin revolutionised the treatment of Staphylococcus aureus in the 1940's, however the ability of the Golden Staph to negate Penicillin's efficiency led to most strains of Staphylococcus aureus becoming resistant by 1960.

A new type of penicillin antibiotic called methicillin was developed early in 1960 and proved effective, then newer and more effective drugs were developed such as flucloxacillin.
Eventually Staphylococcus aureus developed a resistance to flucloxacillin and Methicillin, becoming known as “methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus”

There are other antibiotics which can be used to treat these infections, but these are not generally available in tablet form, and must be administered by drip or injection.


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is usually harmless until it gets into the body through an open wound. It can cause havoc in a Hospital burns ward where wounds are open to the air for therapeutic reasons.

Similar to “Golden Staph”, the resistant strain can “colonise” on the skin or inside the nose of a patient who then becomes a virtual “reservoir”.

Hospital staff are regularly checked by having a nose swab taken, and if found to be positive, they get a few days off to eradicate it.

In the home enviroment it can be so easily wiped out by observing due diligence to cleanliness. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus can exist on inanimate objects, so before entering or leaving a hospital ward, it is imperative that hands are cleaned by using the supplied cleanser.

Surgical Wards have a much stricter regime, requiring disposable gowns, caps and gloves to be worn.





Return to the Burns Ward from MRSA
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