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  1. I need some advice on MRSA.

    To supplement my student loan, and to gain care assistance for when I apply for Clinical Psychologist training, I work part time as a Health Care Assistant for a nursing agency.

    Recently I have started providing home care, and today I found out one of my clients had MRSA when he was in hospital. He also suffers from a lot of bladder infections. The agency I work for told me today, that he is at risk of spreading his infection when he has these bladder infections. They knew this all along, but thought I had already been made aware of this!!!

    As I have been caring for this client for about six weeks, including emptying his urine bottle and touching his pets (a dog and cat), is it advisable for me to get a test done by the local GP (which is what I am planning to do), to see if I am infected? Or am I only at risk if I have open cuts etc?

    I know this is a strange thing to gain information from, using an online forum, but I cannot seem to find any information on the internet.


  2. Keep your hands clean, wash after each time you touch any patient and you should be alright.

    7 years in the ambulance service and I never contracted MRSA and I was doing inter hospital icu transfers with MRSA patients!

    You'll be surprised at the silly hype pal!
  3. Ok, cheers mate. I thought I may have been taken in slightly by a moral panic, but its just one of my flat mates also had MRSA, so thats why I was a little bit worried.

    Still, if I worked for a decent agency I would have been informed about this!.. But thats another story.
  4. I woudn't call it silly hype. I recently returned to the UK to visit my mother who had been diagnosed with lung cancer at the end of Jan. I got back into the UK on 22nd Feb and the day after my mother picked up MRSA in the cancer unit of the hospital whilst undergoing radium treatment. Two days later she was dead. It would be incorrect to say that she was killed by MRSA - the cancer was to blame in this instance. However, given the rapid deterioration after picking up MRSA I would not be surprised if it was a contributing factor in her early death.

    Having seen the state of the UK hospital and having had experience of hospitals in Thailand and Singapore I can honestly say that the NHS approach to basic hygience & cleanliness is pretty p!ss poor...

  5. The agency who employ you should provide you with gloves and stuff to protect you whilst your emptying his urine and stuff, and if not ask them why not! Agree with the comment about hand washing - i have worked in the profession for years and have looked after a number of patients with MRSA and never got it. Oh and remember to wash your clothes on a boil wash at the end of a shift!

  6. The obligation to inform you who does or does not have MRSA or any other infectious disease lies with the care home not with the agency. Indeed the agency have no need to know and there has been a possible breach of patient confidentiality. The obligation to provide you with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), i.e. gloves and aprons, again lies with the care home and not with the agency.
    Hand hygiene is the best way to protect you and other patients you subsequently have contact with, however this should be performed after any contact with all patients regardless of their MRSA status. There is a small risk you may have acquired MRSA however its unlikely you have or will become infected. Healthcare workers can become transiently colonised with MRSA with no signs or symptoms i.e. they have the bug (colonisation) but are not infected (no obvious signs of disease such as pus, swelling, pain, redness etc). If you want to read more about then go to a good quality website and not any of the shite scary "MRSA ate my hamster" types that have sprung up around this. I'd suggest you try the Health Protection Agency (British) or the American Centers for Disease Control. See links below.



    There's huge amounts of hype around MRSA in the media and a general perception that our dirty NHS hospitals are to blame. I'd not deny our hospitals are sometimes old and dirty however there's much more to it than that. Staphylococcus aureus (of which MRSA is one type) started developing resistance to antibiotics (specifically penicillin) very shortly after their introduction in 1948. By the mid to late 1950s most of them found in hospitals were resistant. Methicillin (the "M" of MRSA) was introduced in 1959 and staphylococcus aureus was resistant to it within 2 years. Rates of MRSA vary greatly across the world. Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore have much worse rates than ours and the USA are not that far behind us. All of these countries have mostly modern and clean hospitals and yet have serious MRSA problems. I'd be happy to answer any further questions by PM if you want.
  7. Thanks for the answers everyone. Although the fault does lie with my agency, as this guy is their client; he's not in a home.
  8. Ok sorry about the comment about the silly hype.

    It was directed at us as healthy individuals.

    People who are ill have a lowered resistance against infection but as a healthy person MRSA shouldn't really be a matter for concern as long as basic hygene rules are adhered to. If you feel the need wear a facelet as well, I think it's a bit ott but remember... it's your health and if you have kids it's their health as well!

    P.S. I worked in a German ambulance service in Cologne. After witnessing German hospitals on a daily basis, I really think the reason for so many cases of MRSA in GB is the filthy and dire state of hospitals in the UK!
  9. No worries and I can see & appreciate the context you're looking at with this issue.

    To be honest (it was late & cans of Tiger had been enjoyed...) I took the thread slightly off the original subject given that it's just a bit of a tender point at the moment given recent history. If more people at the hospital had demonstrated the willingness to abide by the basic hygience rules perhaps the old dear wouldn't have gone so quickly/banned her grandkids from coming near in case they caught something from her etc. All theoretical, but as you say its the ill, with lowered resistance to infection who are most at risk with this issue.