Staphylococcus aureus, better known as staph, is a type of bacteria. MRSA is a strain of this bacteria that is resistant to many types of antibiotics and therefore difficult to treat.
Nursing home residents are at risk of contracting MRSA. Is your loved one in a facility that is alert to practices that control this infection and keep it from spreading?
About the infections
Staph is a kind of bacteria that is present on the skin of healthy people. It usually causes no problems unless it enters the skin through a cut, scratch or sore, thereby causing an infection. MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant S. aureus, is a strain of this bacteria. Because it is resistant to many antibiotics, it is not easy to treat, especially for elderly people who are already dealing with a variety of other health problems.
How MRSA spreads
If a nursing home resident contracts MRSA, he or she must go into isolation in order to protect others. The infection can spread through contact with sheets, clothing and dressings. While the patient is undergoing treatment, all nursing staff and visitors must wear protective masks, gowns and gloves while inside the sick room, and upon leaving, must remove and discard these items.
Both staph and MRSA can appear as spots, boils or red areas on the skin. Beneath the skin, it can cause blood, bone or tissue infections resulting in possible bacterial pneumonia, kidney failure, sepsis and endocarditis. If MRSA is not treated properly or misdiagnosed, legal action against the nursing home or staff could be the next step for the family of the affected resident.