Preventing the spread of MRSA

Did you realise that as much as 30% of the population could be carrying Staphylococcus Aureus on their skin and still be healthy; however, Meticillin Resistant Stapphylococcus Aureus (as MRSA is more properly known) is far more serious and can be contracted in the UK’s healthcare facilities including hospitals and nursing homes. Up to 3% of the population are thought to be infected with MRSA, a bacterium which is stubbornly resistant to most antibiotics and can have serious symptoms.

The bug can spread easily through direct contact with another individual, through a ward, or through contaminated clinical equipment for example. The Department of Health is in charge of the surveillance of MRSA but tackling the ‘superbug’ has proved difficult. Unfortunately, it is the most vulnerable patients who are at the most risk of contracting MRSA and are worst affected by it.

In order to prevent the bug spreading and in order to treat it effectively, it is important that it is diagnosed early. Although no single method of tacking the spread of MRSA has been successful, studies have concluded that various methods used in conjunction can help prevent further infection. Improving surveillance of the bug, isolating infected patients away from others and taking more caution when in contact with patients are some of the methods hospitals can use.

Improving hand hygiene is also crucial and many hospitals now provide hand sanitizers on all wards for both the public and for staff. It is now thought that MRSA is most commonly contracted following contact with the hands of medical staff. Even when gloves are worn, hands can become colonised with the bacterium, so hand washing after the gloves are taken off is important.

Every patient admitted to hospital for a pre-arranged procedure should now be screened for the bug prior to being admitted but the following steps should also be taken:

• Keeping wards clean and tidy

• Keeping the environment clean

• Wearing gloves when treating wounds and then thoroughly washing hands following removal of gloves

• Using disinfectant to clean surfaces in examination areas

• Disposing of materials that come into contact with bodily fluids carefully

Looking to make an MRSA compensation claim? Dial 01722 422300

If you contract MRSA, medical negligence could be to blame and as a result, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Our medical negligence solicitors could help you win the damages you deserve, so dial 01722 422300, or

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