Let's Talk About MRSA

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What is it?   Staphylococcus Aureus (SA) is a bacterium that is commonly found on the skin or in the nose of about 30% of healthy people and is generally harmless. However, it can cause infections if it enters wounds, cuts or abrasions.

Meticillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) are resitant to some antibiotics commonly used to treat these infections.

How did I get it?   It is not always clear why a patient has this organism. However, it does exist in the community and some people come into hospital with it on their skin without knowing they have it.

Most patients now have samples taken and tested in the laboratory to see if they have MRSA. This can be passed on to another person and enter the body through wounds or procedures and cause infection.

How is it passed on?   MRSA is commonly spread by hands, equipment and sometimes the environment.
Who is at risk?   All patients are at risk, but some are more vulnerable than others.
How can we stop the spread?  
  • The simplest most effective measure in preventing the spread of infection is hand hygiene, as per the 'My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene'.
  • Do not be afraid to ask staff whether they have washed their hands.
  • You will be asked to wash with a liquid soap/shampoo for five days. This should be applied directly to the skin by using your hands or a cloth, ensuring it is in contact with the skin for at least one minute. Rinse and dry thoroughly. In addition you will also be given a nasal ointment to be used three times a day for five days. 
What can you do?  
  • Clean your hands after going to the toilet and before and after eating
  • Do not touch your wound, catheters or other tubes
  • Encourage visitors to clean their hands before and after visiting you.
  • If you are being nursed in a side room it is important that you follow the instructions given.
  • Ensure any treatment that is given is used or taken as presecribed and the course completed.
What does it mean for you and your family?  
  • Visitors will normally be allowed, but must follow any instructions given.
  • It may not be necessary for you to remain in hospital because of MRSA but you may need to complete the prescribed treatment.
For further information:  


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