Medical MRSA Treatment Options
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a staph infection that has developed a resistance to most of the antibiotics that have been used to treat it. MRSA started in healthcare facilities. It was passed from patient to patient on the hands of healthcare workers. Those who underwent surgery were the most at risk because an open wound was the perfect entrance point for MRSA. Thousands of people have died from MRSA they contracted in health care settings.
In recent years, MRSA has made an appearance in the community. It has become so prevalent it has its own name. CA-MRSA is known as Community Acquired MRSA. Individuals who are in close proximity to others are at risk. Therefore, day-care centers, athletes and college dormitories are all hot beds for MRSA. MRSA has even been detected in many fast-food restaurants.
MRSA is highly contagious because it can be passed to others through direct contact. MRSA is not only passed on the hands it can also live on inanimate objects such as clothing and furniture. If an individual has MRSA of the lungs, MRSA spores can become airborne with a cough or a sneeze. These airborne particles can infect others if they are inhaled.
Since MRSA is so hard to eliminate and so easy to pass on to others it is easy to see why it is considered an epidemic by most healthcare professionals. However, there are treatments available for MRSA. These MRSA treatment medicines can be effective for clearing an infection up; however, once the treatment ends the MRSA almost always comes back.
MRSA Treatment Medications
There are a few antibiotics that are being used to treat MRSA. Clindamycin, Zyvox, Vibramycin and Vancomycin are being used to treat both Hospital Acquired-MRSA and CA-MRSA. Bactrim has also been shown to be effective at treating CA-MRSA. Of all the antibiotics used, Vancomycin seems to have the greatest effect on these drug resistant bacteria.
But these treatments are not without side effects. Antibiotics are meant to kill off bad bacteria in the body, but it can also deplete the number of good bacteria. When this happens, the yeast that lives in your body begins to thrive. An overgrowth of yeast in the body will produce irritating yeast infections. This occurs mainly in women, but men can get yeast infections also. But a yeast infection is not the worst of the side effects. The following is a partial list of side effects that can occur with these types of antibiotics:
- Abnormally low blood pressure.
- Skin rash.
- Abdominal Pain.
- Shortness of Breath.
- Red man Syndrome. This is when the patient experiences flushing and itching of the face, neck and torso with the intravenous infusion of Vancomycin.
- Yellowing of the skin and the eyes.
- Easy bruising.
- Unexplained Joint Pain.
- Decreased urination.
- Red skin rash accompanied by blistering and peeling.
- Loss of appetite.
If you are prescribed an antibiotic for MRSA, it is important that you are monitored closely by your doctor. All possible side effects should be reported right away. You must also keep in mind that all medications have the ability to produce life-threatening reactions such as swelling of the face, tongue and throat. This is called an “anaphylactic reaction” and if not treated aggressively it will be fatal.
MRSA Treatment Surgical Options
When MRSA infects the skin, it can cause boils or large swollen areas of infection just below the skin. Your doctor may recommend a procedure called “incision and drainage” to release the pus that has accumulated below the skin’s surface.
This procedure will usually start by the doctor or surgeon injecting a numbing medication into the area around the site of infection. Once the site is numb, the doctor will then cut open the infected area to allow it to drain. The open wound would will be irrigated with a normal saline solution to clean it out.
The wound will most likely be left open, and it may be packed with saline soaked gauze. Sterile dressing changes will need to be performed daily. It is very important that careful precautions are taken during dressing changes to keep from infecting other parts of the body. Soiled dressings and other items used must be tied up in a trash bag and disposed of right away to prevent spreading MRSA to others.
In some cases, MRSA can get deep into the body to cause problems. For example, individuals who have broken bones or hips may have some type of hardware in the body. This hardware can become infected with MRSA and need to be removed. This is a major surgical procedure. A lot of the time, replacement hardware cannot be put back in until the MRSA infection has been taken care of. Therefore, an individual will have to endure two surgeries.
There are many side effects of surgery. The following is just a partial list of side effects:
- Bleeding at the site.
- Increased risk of infection.
- Allergic reaction to anesthesia used during the procedure.
- Delayed healing.
- Blood clots.
It is important to talk to your doctor about all the possible side effects. In most cases, the benefits of having surgery for MRSA will definitely outweigh the risks that are associated with the procedure.
MRSA can be a dangerous infection that requires medical intervention. If it is left untreated it can spread throughout the body via the bloodstream and become fatal. The elderly are especially susceptible to the effects of MRSA because they have depleted immune systems.
If you have areas on your skin that look infected you must have your doctor check them out. MRSA can be picked up almost anywhere. He may be able to tell you right away if you have MRSA. In some cases, a swab of the area may be needed so the lab can analyze the type of bacteria that is residing in the wound. It is very important that you don’t wait to seek intervention. The earlier you begin treatment for this deadly infection the easier it will be to cure.