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What Are The Complications Of MRSA Infection?

Since MRSA infection is resistant to most of the antibiotics if it’s not treated with the proper antibiotics or if it’s not identified initially the infection spreads throughout the body quickly and cause serious complications.

What Are The Complications Of MRSA Infection?

What Are The Complications Of MRSA Infection?

Cellulitis/ Skin Tissue Necrosis: Cellulitis is the infection of the deep payers of the skin. It usually occurs in the legs, but it also can occur in the arms, and face. The symptoms are pain, redness, swelling and limitation of the function in the affected area. This is one of the common infections of MRSA. If the skin infection is not treated adequately it can lead to serious infection and the skin cells can die. The initial inflammatory symptoms will be present if not treated the skin discolor (dark color), numbness and blisters in the infected skin can occur which is called skin tissue necrosis.(1)

Pneumonia – Lung Infection: Pneumonia due to MRSA is commonly seen in healthcare facilities and there has been a significant increase in the number of pneumonia in MRSA patients. The symptoms are high fever, cough, difficulty in breathing and confusion.(2)

Urinary Tract Infections: Infection of the urinary tract which can occur due to ascend of MRSA bacteria that colonize the genital area. Symptoms are burning sensation when passing urine, increased frequency and blood in urine.(3)

Endocarditis: Endocarditis is infection of the inner surface of the heart especially, the heart valves. Serious infection which requires prolong antibiotic treatment.

Brain Or Spinal Cord Abscess: A skin infection or an ear infection can give rise to brain and spinal cord abscess. This is one of the life-threatening and potentially dangerous infections. The symptoms of brain abscess and spinal cord abscess depend on the location of the abscess, your immune status, virulence of the organism and underlying medical conditions. Symptoms are usually headache, neck stiffness, confusion, seizures, and weakness in some parts the body.

Osteomyelitis: Infection of the bone is known as osteomyelitis, it is one of the rarest but a serious complication caused my MRSA. The infection is spread by blood to the bone. Symptoms are pain, redness and swelling around the infected area along with difficulty in moving the affected part.4

Septic Arthritis: Infection of the joints, knee joint is affected commonly. The infection spread through the bloodstream. The symptoms are pain, swelling, redness and difficulty moving the joint.

Toxic Shock Syndrome: Toxic shock syndrome is caused by the toxins released by the MRSA bacteria. It’s quite a rare but a life-threatening condition. It can occur in anyone and usually, the onset is acute. Seen commonly in patients with burn injuries or with a surgical wound. The symptoms are high fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, diarrhea and a rash similar to a sunburn. Then the condition worsens rapidly with low blood pressure, seizures, and confusion. Toxic shock syndrome can cause kidney failure, shock, and death.

Septic Shock: The toxins of the MRSA bacteria cause an inflammatory response in the body in order to destroy the toxins. The severity of the inflammatory reaction is directly proportional to the severity of the toxins released. This inflammatory response can be extensive and it can damage the organs in the body including heart, brain, liver, intestines, and kidney leading to septic shock. Clinical features of septic shock are high or low temperature, confusion, chills, and rigors, lightheadedness, and anxiety. Septic shock can progress into cardiac and respiratory failure and death.

Bacteremia: Bacteremia is the presence of bacteria in the blood. It is similar to septic shock but septic shock can occur without bacteremia. When the level of bacteria is high in the blood it causes sepsis. The clinical features are fever with chills and rigors, increased heart rate, confusion, and lightheadedness.


The complications are: cellulitis/ skin tissue necrosis, pneumonia – lung infection, urinary tract infections, endocarditis, brain or spinal cord abscess, osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, toxic shock syndrome, septic shock and bacteremia.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 20, 2020

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