What Will Happen If MRSA Is Left Untreated?
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a serious type of Staphylococcus aureus infections. Like the usual Staphylococcus aureus organism’s MRSA is colonized on the skin and in the nose. It is said that 2% of the population harbor the MRSA organism. It is an opportunistic organism, there is minimum or no damage when it is living in the skin and nose, but if it enters the blood or goes inside any organ it can cause serious infection. MRSA is resistant to many of the generally used antibiotics and is resistant to all beta-lactams therefore, an infection of MRSA is very difficult to treat. So, MRSA infection left untreated can be fatal and the patient can even die, on the other side a resistant MRSA to antibiotics can also be fatal as even the infection is identified there aren’t any antibiotics sensitive to treat the infection.
Complications Of MRSA
Since MRSA infection is resistant to most of the antibiotics the infection spreads throughout the body quickly and cause serious complications.
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; more common in patients with burn injuries or who have a surgical wound. The symptoms are high fever, muscle aches, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and a rash similar to a sunburn. Then, the condition rapidly worsens with low blood pressure, seizures, and confusion. Toxic shock syndrome can rapidly progress into kidney failure, shock, and death.
Septic Shock. The toxins of the MRSA bacteria arouse an inflammatory response in the body in order to eliminate the toxins. If the infection is severe the inflammatory response is stronger. As, you all know inflammatory reaction involves increased temperature, redness, swelling, pain and reduce function in the affected area. This inflammatory response is so extensive that 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, chills, and rigors, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, confusion, and anxiety. Because of the low blood pressure, the patient’s extremities appear very pale and cold in order to supply blood to the essential organs. It’s important to identify the source and place of infection from the clinical features so, that treatment can be carried out. Septic shock can progress into cardiac and respiratory failure and death.
Bacteremia. Bacteremia is the presence of bacteria in the blood. It’s 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 fever with chills and rigors, increased heart rate, confusion, and lightheadedness. The bacteria should be identified and treatment should be carried out before it infects an organ.
Organ Infections. Bacteremia can cause:
- Skin tissue necrosis/cellulitis
- Brain or spinal cord abscess
- Osteomyelitis – infection of the bone
- Pneumonia – lung infection
- Endocarditis – infection of the outer membrane of the heart
- Septic arthritis – infection of joint/s
- Thrombophlebitis – infection of blood vessels
- Urinary tract infections
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a serious type of Staphylococcus aureus infections. Like the usual Staphylococcus aureus organism’s MRSA is colonized on the skin and in the nose. It is said that 2% of the population harbor the MRSA organism. Since MRSA infection is resistant to most of the antibiotics the infection spreads throughout the body quickly and causes serious complications. Complications are toxic shock syndrome, septic shock, bacteremia, brain, and spinal cord abscess, pneumonia, endocarditis, osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, thrombophlebitis, and urinary tract infections.