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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus
To check whether someone is colonised with MRSA, swabs are taken from the nose and skin to check if bacteria is present. These tests usually take about 2 working days. Appropriate treatment is given if MRSA is detected. These tests will also indicate which antibiotics can be used to treat the infection if identified.
MRSA may be treated with skin cleansing lotions, nasal ointment and shampoo to reduce the amount of MRSA carried on the skin. This is frequently referred to as 'colonisation reduction regime'.
At Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust, if you are admitted, we frequently continue the skin cleansing lotion for the duration of your stay in the hospital.
Antibiotics will be prescribed if infection is confirmed.
Prevention and protection
MRSA can survive in dust on various surfaces for long periods of time. Therefore, surfaces and objects must be cleaned regularly and thoroughly.
Within the hospital setting, people who have MRSA are put into isolation, which means that they will be put into a room by themselves away from others to prevent the spread of infection to other patients.
Patients admitted to Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust are screened for MRSA. If their test is positive they are prescribed an appropriate treatment.
There are certain practices which can help reduce the spread of MRSA. These include:
- Maintenance of good hand hygiene - wash hands frequently with soap and water to reduce the spread of the MRSA from one part of the body to another or to another person.
- Use alcohol gel or hand rubs, especially before and after touching patients
- Teach and encourage children to wash their hands thoroughly.
- Cleaning of hard surfaces (e.g. handles) regularly using household cleaning products.
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- Advice for those affected by MRSA outside of the hospital www.clean-safe-care.nhs.uk/ArticleFiles/Events/MRSA_Advice.pdf
- HPA (2006).
- MRSA information for patients in hospital www.oxfordradcliffe.nhs.uk/forpatients/infection_control/icdocs/090326hpamrsa.pdf
- HPA (2008).
- Guidance on the diagnosis and management of PVL-associated Staphylococcus aureus infections (PVL-SA) in England www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1218699411960
- NHS Choices website MRSA