Patients can think that theyre suffering from insect bites, so they scratch and spread the bacteria to smaller cuts on other parts of their body without realizing it. They come to the emergency room with several welts, not realizing that the bumps are actually skin infections, Karras said.
In many urban areas, including Philadelphia, patients will visit the emergency room instead of a doctors office. For this reason, emergency medicine has been on the front lines of community-acquired MRSA prevention and treatment.
Close skin-to-skin contact, cuts or abrasions, contaminated items and surfaces, crowded living conditions and poor hygiene can promote the spread of MRSA. Experts advise the following precautions:
If a member of a household has an abscess, cellulitis or draining wound, he or she needs to see a doctor immediately. Additionally, linens should be segregated to protect uninfected members of the household.
For general hygiene and infection control, do not share personal items such as razors. Keep hands clean by washing thoroughly with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed and avoid contact with other peoples wounds or bandages.
Temple has long been involved in Emergency ID Net, an 11-hospital network of emergency physicians studying emerging infectious diseases, said Karras. Originally, the group was formed as a surveillance unit. Interventional studies like STOP MRSA will help us determine the best treatment for our patients.
Other sites participating in this study are the Maricopa Medical Center in Phoeni
|Contact: Renee Cree|