Assignment: Routine Morning Care

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Assignment: Routine Morning Care

Assignment: Routine Morning Care

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While MRSA once affected primarily the sick and elderly in hospitals, according to many published reports it has now spread outside of these facilities. The bugs, typically different strains than the types found in hospitals, are striking young, healthy people through contact with infected skin mainly by sharing towels or other personal items. However, the community strain is now being spread in hospitals when patients unknowingly carry it in.

Even though reports of community-acquired MRSA infections are increasing, recent CDC sponsored research shows that 85 percent of such infections are picked up in the hospital or some other health care setting.7 Patients who develop MRSA infections end up staying longer in the hospital, have higher medical care bills, and are more likely to die from their infection. A study by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council found that hospital patients with MRSA infections are four times as likely to die, will stay in the hospital two and a half times as long, and are charged three times as much compared to patients without MRSA.8 Poor Hand Hygiene in Hospitals Spreads MRSA

In the hospital setting, MRSA can get in the bloodstream or organs and cause an infection through a surgical wound, urinary catheter, or ventilator.9 The infection can spread from patient to patient through contact with unwashed hands or contaminated gloves. Unfortunately, studies have shown that hand washing compliance rates in hospitals are generally less than 50 percent, which helps to explain why so many patients develop MRSA and other infections.10 The CDC considers proper hand hygiene to be the single most important factor in protecting patients from hospital acquired infections.11

Healthcare workers can come in contact with MRSA without touching patients infected with the bacteria. One study found that 42 percent of nurses’ gloves became contaminated with MRSA when they touched surfaces in the room of a patient with MRSA even though they did not come in direct contact with the patient.12 MRSA may survive for weeks to many months on various surfaces, which increases the likelihood that health care workers may come into contact with the bacteria and unwittingly pass it on to patients.13

Some research has suggested that health care workers with clothing contaminated with MRSA may spread the bacteria from patient to patient. One study found that 65 percent of health care workers’ gowns or uniforms were contaminated with MRSA after performing routine morning care for patients with MRSA in their wound or urine.14

MRSA Can Be Beat With Stricter Infection Control

 

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