The MRSA Bug Stops Here!
Recent news reports have highlighted the incidence of MRSA, or methicillin-resistant staph aureus. MRSA is not a new “bug,” but one that has become resistant over time to many of our most commonly used antibiotics.
The rapid emergence of community-acquired MRSA, or CA-MRSA, in patients with no prior exposure to health care institutions or other risk factors, poses a new challenge to hospitals. There are in increasing numbers of CA-MRSA patients presenting in hospital emergency departments, outpatient clinics or flagged during elective surgeries.
Jordan Hospital has initiated a pre and post operative program to eradicate MRSA in joint replacement patients. The purpose of this program is to identify and eradicate nasal colonization of MRSA in all patients scheduled for a total joint surgery involving an inpatient stay. The following precautious are taken:
- First, in order to identify whether or not the patient harbors MRSA bacteria, a quick and painless nasal culture is performed during the preadmission testing visit. If positive for MRSA, the patient is informed of the results by their physician office and directed to use a prescribed nasal ointment.
- Second, all patients are requested to shower with an antimicrobial wash called Hibiclens (chlorhexidine gluconate), the night before and the morning of surgery. Positive MRSA patients are asked to shower with Hibiclens four days before and the morning of surgery.
- Third, on surgery day, the patient is given a preoperative antibiotic sensitive to MRSA.
A Jordan Hospital orthopedic nurse liaison visits each patient in the home prior to surgery to assess not only MRSA protocol compliance, but overall home safety. During the patient’s inpatient stay, the nurse will visit the patient to answer any questions, provide support and assist in the transition to rehabilitation or home. The RN makes at least two additional visits to rehab or in the home to provide continued assessment and support. Hand washing remains essential for both patients and health care providers in preventing the transmission of MRSA and other serious infections.