MRSA stands for methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus. It is a kind of bacteria that is immune or resistant to some of the antibiotics that are commonly used for treating various infections. The antibiotics to which these bacteria are resistant are all kinds of penicillin (e.g. – methicillin, amoxicillin, ampicillin, etc.) and cephalosporin (e.g. – cefuroxime, cefixime, ceftriaxone, etc.) group of drugs. Due to unnecessary usage of these antibiotics the bacteria have gained resistance to them. Thus, it becomes harder to treat the infection occurring due to MRSA. Staphylococcus is commonly present on our skin and also in the nasal cavity but does not cause infection due to our immunity. But when there is degradation of immunity the bacteria finds its way and starts infecting.
Can MRSA Kill You?
Certainly MRSA is a kind of infection that is really challenging to treat but it does not mean that it is going to kill you. The prognosis depends on:
Type Of Infection- The infection may be limited to the skin or it may spread to deeper organs like lungs and blood. The deeper the infection the harder it becomes to treat it.
Status Of Your Immune System- If the patient is severely immunocompromised it is difficult to treat the infection. Prolonged hospitalization also deteriorates immune system and leads to severe infection that is also called as Healthcare Associated- MRSA (HA-MRSA).
List Of Antibiotics That The Bacteria Is Resistant To- Even though MRSA is resistant to some of the commonly used antibiotics it is still responsive to some of the other ones like rifampin, linezolid, clindamycin, etc. but if the bacteria has gained resistance to these antibiotics too then it is really tough to treat the infection. Antibiotic sensitivity test must be done to choose the right option.
Presence Of Other Infections In The Body- If the patient is already suffering from other infections and is on antibiotics then the bacteria must have gained resistance to those antibiotics and hence are of no use to treat MRSA.
Age Of The Patient- The older the patient the weaker the immune system and hence harder it becomes to control the infection.
Functioning Of Vital Organs In The Body (Lungs, Hear, Kidneys, Liver)- If the patient is suffering from organ failure like liver failure or kidney failure then it is almost impossible to properly treat the infection.
So to make the long story short, prognosis of disease depends on severity of infection and on certain other factors as mentioned above. MRSA can cause death of the patient but not always so do not lose hope.(2)
How To Stop The Spread Of Infection?
Steps that can be taken to reduce the chances of MRSA infection and to control the spread of infection:
Stop Unnecessary Use Of Antibiotics- Antibiotics must only be used when utterly necessary. Using antibiotics unreasonably have caused staphylococcus to gain resistance.
Clean Hands- As said earlier staphylococcus normally resides on our skin. The healthcare workers must clean their hands properly before coming in contact with the patient who has compromised immune system and those who have prolonged hospital stay.
Care Of The Wounds- If someone has superficial skin infection due to MRSA, you can inhibit the deeper spread by covering the wounds. This prevents entry of bacteria into the wound and hence saving deeper spread to the blood and other soft tissues.
Proper Isolation Of The Infected Patients- The healthcare workers must keep the MRSA infected patient in isolation rooms. While attending the patient, protective garments must be worn and the contaminated equipment must be sterilized carefully.(1)
Proper Treatment At Correct Time
When you suspect something reach out for doctor immediately otherwise the more time you wait the harder it gets to control the infection. These are some of the very essential ways to prevent MRSA infection and to control its spread but people tend to neglect them that lead to severe infection.
MRSA is a deadly bacterium but there are ways to control the spread of this infection. Death is not the only outcome of this infection. There are many cases where MRSA has been treated effectively, the infection has been controlled and the patients lived happily ever after. The healthcare professionals must know the harms of needless use of antibiotics.
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