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MRSA Case Study: Challenges of Infection Control and Treatment in Nursing Homes

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a harmless type of staph bacteria that lives on the surface of the skin. It does not become problematic until it enters the body through an open wound, breathing tube, or catheter. Because MRSA is resistant to certain antibiotics that are commonly used to treat and cure staph infections, it can become an extremely serious problem, especially in skilled nursing facilities. MRSA colonized residents are more likely to develop infection than noncolonised ones, and thus have increased risk of death. (For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

A recent study, titled “MRSA: A Challenge to Norwegian Nursing Home Personnel” and published in Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Infectious Diseases, highlights how the spread of MRSA creates challenging tasks for nursing home staff because of the increased workload associated with cleaning, disinfection, and sanitation of the environment and of the MRSA-infected residents. The study also found that problems related to the control of MRSA are associated with “old buildings standards not suitable for modern infection control work with lack of isolates, single rooms and bathrooms, [and] a low rate of professional healthcare staffing and education in infection control work.”

To decrease the risk of transmission of MRSA within nursing homes, nursing home owners and operators need to avoid overcrowding the facility and must provide adequate staff to effectively implement infection control and preventative measures. Without adequate facility space to isolate the infected residents or carriers for treatment and decolonization of MRSA, staff, visitors, and other patients are exposed to the infection and the likelihood of an infection outbreak increases significantly. High quality care by well-educated and well-trained staff, who are capable of following MRSA control guidelines, is absolutely necessary to successfully controlling and treating MRSA infections.

If your loved one has suffered serious or life-threatening infections because of understaffing or unsanitary conditions in a skilled nursing facility Riverside, San Bernardino, Fontana, Ontario, or Corona, please contact us immediately so we can help your loved one receive proper care for treatment and prevention of MRSA and other infections.