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Controlling MRSA in Nursing and Residential Homes


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There is a great deal of concern in nursing and residential homes about the spread and significance of MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus).

Increased use of antibiotics has led to the emergence of MRSA and other resistant strains of bacteria. The lines between hospitals and care homes and the spread of MRSA are getting blurred. Care workers must take the same precautions as nurses.

Hygiene Problems - insufficient or incorrect hand washing by care workers in residential homes and insufficient hand washing facilities for visitors.

Understaffing and Overcrowding - basic hygiene procedures are being ignored because care workers are not able to finish one job properly before having to do another six jobs as well. Time constraints means care workers fail to follow infection-controls such as hand washing, clinical waste disposal, glove-wearing, decontamination and sterilization of equipment and cleaning linen.

What about screening? Residents and staff do not need routine screening fore MRSA unless there is a clinical reason. For example, a wound getting worse or new sores appearing. In that case, the resident's GP should send wound swabs to the local hospital for general microbiological investigation. .

Poor Education - As well as more time and resources, better education of staff and visitors could help prevent the spread of MRSA. Many healthcare workers are not kept up to date with current developments in raising hygiene standards and preventing infection.

Infection Control

  • 52% of nurses agree that infection control is their top priority at work;

  • 23% of nurses agree that they do not always follow guidelines (time constraints);

  • 11% of nurses state that infection control is not the most important aspect of their job and;

  • 7% of nurses do not understand why particular guidelines are in place.

    The most worrying of these percentages are the 11% who state that infection control is note the most important aspect and 7% who do not understand why particular guidelines are in place.

    What Next?

    The current 800 deaths a year from MRSA cannot be ignored. It's clear that the NHS is crying out for more time and resources to carry out infection-control procedures. It's vital, then, that managers priorities funding for infection control. In the long run money will be saved if there are fewer cases of HAIs to treat. Some solutions are more complex and will not happen overnight.

    Dos And Don'ts


  • Visit www.chi. to find out how NHS trusts in England rate for infection control and incidence of MRSA;
  • Disposable gloves and apron should be worn when attending to any dressings.
  • Cuts, sores and wounds in staff and residents should be covered with impermeable dressings
  • Blood and body fluid spills should be dealt with immediately.
  • Bedding and mattresses should be clean and treated
  • If you're in care always speak up if you spot a health professional failing to wash their hands or not wearing protective gloves;
  • If you see other unhygienic practices, ask for them to be cleaned;
  • MRSA can live harmlessly on the skin and in the nose. Wash with bactericidal before visiting, or admission to, hospital;
  • Protect others by avoiding contact with their wounds. Protect yourself by keeping abrasions clean and dressed with a bandage until they've healed;


  • Get too close to other patients;
  • “Put up" with soreness or discomfort;
  • Put bare feet on the floor;
  • Use tissues more than once.

    About the Author

    Ian Harper owns and operates a cleaning company, which specialises in Asthma Attack Prevention caused by air allergens in the home and work place. , using the most up-to-date efficient methods and allergystop (allergstop). this product is also useful in controlling MRSA. You can learn more about this unique cleaning technologies by visiting the website for his Carpet Cleaners Network .

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