How To Reduce The Chances of Contracting MRSA
Here is some good information from the Centers for Disease Control dealing with the reducing the risk of contracting MRSA which is common in nursing homes, hospitals and other care facilities and can lead to many serious complications.
Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Contracting MRSA
Updated: October 10, 2007
First Released: August 1999
Risk of Contracting MRSA – Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become a prevalent nosocomial pathogen in the United States. In hospitals, the most important reservoirs of MRSA are infected or colonized patients. Although hospital personnel can serve as reservoirs for MRSA and may harbor the organism for many months, they have been more commonly identified as a link for transmission between colonized or infected patients. The main mode of transmission of MRSA is via hands (especially health care workers’ hands) which may become contaminated by contact with a) colonized or infected patients, b) colonized or infected body sites of the personnel themselves, or c) devices, items, or environmental surfaces contaminated with body fluids containing MRSA. Standard Precautions, as described in the Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings 2007, should control the spread of MRSA in most instances. Additional measures for prevent the spread of MRSA are described in Management of Multidrug-Resistant Organisms in Healthcare Settings.
Standard Precautions – Reduce Chances of Contacting MRSA
1) Hand Hygiene – Perform hand hygiene after touching blood, body fluids, secretions, excretions, and contaminated items, whether or not gloves are worn. Perform hand hygiene immediately after gloves are removed, between patient contacts, and when otherwise indicated to avoid transfer of microorganisms to other patients or environments. When hands are visibly soiled with blood or other body fluids, wash hands with soap and water. It may be necessary to perform hand hygiene between tasks and procedures on the same patient to prevent cross-contamination of different body sites.
2) Gloving – Wear gloves (clean nonsterile gloves are adequate) when it can be reasonably anticipated that contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials, mucous membranes, nonintact skin, or potentially contaminated intact skin (e.g., of a patient incontinent of stool or urine) could occur. Remove gloves after contact with a patient and/or the
surrounding environment (including medical equipment) using proper technique to prevent hand contamination. Do not wear the same pair of gloves for the care of more than one patient. Do not wash gloves for the purpose of reuse since this practice has been associated with transmission of pathogens.
3) Mouth, nose, eye protection – Use PPE to protect the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth during procedures and patient-care activities that are likely to generate splashes or sprays of blood, body fluids, secretions and excretions. Select masks, goggles, face shields, and combinations of each according to the need anticipated by the task performed.
4) Gowning – Wear a gown, that is appropriate to the task, to protect skin and prevent soiling or contamination of clothing during procedures and patient-care activities when contact with blood, body fluids, secretions, or excretions is anticipated.
5) Appropriate device handling of patient care equipment and instruments/devices – Handle used patient-care equipment soiled with blood, body fluids, secretions, and excretions in a manner that prevents skin and mucous membrane exposures, contamination of clothing, and transfer of microorganisms to other patients and environments. Ensure that reusable equipment is not used for the care of another patient until it has been appropriately cleaned and reprocessed and that single-use items are properly discarded. Clean and disinfect surfaces that are likely to be contaminated with pathogens, including those that are in close proximity to the patient (e.g., bed rails, over bed tables) and frequently-touched surfaces in the patient care environment (e.g., door knobs, surfaces in and surrounding toilets in patients’ rooms) on a more frequent schedule compared to that for other surfaces (e.g., horizontal surfaces in waiting rooms).
6) Appropriate handling of laundry – Handle, transport, and process used linen to avoid contamination of air, surfaces and persons.
Resident Suspected of Contracting MRSA – Report Abuse to Adult Protection
To participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, nursing homes must be in compliance with the federal requirements for long term care facilities as prescribed in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (42 CFR Part 483).
A nursing home must conduct an initial comprehensive and accurate assessment of each resident’s functional capacity. (42 CFR § 483.20). The facility must further develop a comprehensive care plan for each resident that includes measurable objectives and timetables to meet a resident’s medical, nursing, and mental and psychosocial needs that are identified in the comprehensive assessment. (42 CFR § 483.20 (k)) and Minnesota Rule 4658.0405, Subp. 1.
This website is not intended to provide legal advice as each situation is different and specific factual information must be obtained before an attorney is able to assess the legal questions relevant to your situation.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from neglect or abuse in a nursing home or other care facility that serves the elderly in Minnesota please contact our firm for a free consultation and information regarding the obligations of the facility and your rights as a resident or concerned family member. To contact Attorney Kenneth L. LaBore, directly please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Ken at 612-743-9048.