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MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) protocols


If a student athlete presents any signs or symptoms of the MRSA the Loyola University Sports Medicine Department will work with both Dr. Tucker and Student Health Services to provide the appropriate care and treatment.

The appropriate steps to follow will be:

· Report to sports medicine staff with any signs/symptoms of MRSA

· Student athlete will be referred to Student Health Service or to Dr. Tucker at Union Memorial Sports Medicine

· Health Services and/or Dr. Tucker will take the appropriate testing procedure and decide on the treatment and care for the student athlete

· Student Health Services will be notified of a positive test result and will follow their previously set protocols.

· The student-athlete must be cleared for return to play by a physician. 


The Signs and symptoms of MRSA can be:

The area will be:

· Red

· Swollen

· Painful to touch

· Warm to touch

· Pus and other fluids will be draining from the site.

Symptoms of a more serious infection may include:

· Chest pain

· Chills

· Fatigue

· Fever

· Malaise

· Headache

· Rash surrounding the area

· Muscle ache

· Shortness of breathe

**Serious staph infections may lead to:

· Blood poisoning (sepsis)

· Cellulitis

· Toxic shock syndrome

· Organ failure and death may result from untreated



MRSA is caused by a strain of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. This bacteria normally lives on the skin and sometimes in the nasal passages. MRSA refers to S. aureus strains that do not respond to the antibiotics normally used to cure staph  infections. The bacteria can cause infection when they enter the body through a cut, sore, catheter, or breathing tube. The infection can be minor and local (for example, a pimple), or more serious (involving the heart, blood, or bone). Serious staph infections are more common in people with weak immune systems. This includes patients in hospitals and long-term care facilities and those receiving kidney dialysis.

MRSA infections are grouped into two types:

· Healthcare-associated -infections occur in people who are or have recently been in the hospital. Those who have been hospitalized or had surgery within the past year are at increased risk.

· Community-associate-infections occur in people that are otherwise healthy. The infections have occurred among athletes who share equipment or personal items (such as towels, razors, soaps, improperly treated whirlpools, and equipment (mats, pads, surfaces, etc).).


Tests & diagnosis

Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may recommend the following tests to detect and confirm the bacteria causing the infection:

· Blood culture

· Culture of the drainage (fluid) from the infection

· Skin culture from the infected site

· Sputum culture

· Urine culture



Draining the skin sore is often the only treatment needed for a local skin MRSA infection. This can be done at the doctor's office. More serious MRSA infections, especially HA-MRSA infections, are becoming increasingly difficult to treat and may require antibiotics.

It is important to finish all doses of antibiotics you have been given, unfinished doses can lead to further drug resistance in the bacteria, or can cause an infection that seemed to be cured to return.

Other treatments may be needed for more serious infections. The person will be admitted to a hospital:

· Fluids and medications given through a vein

· Kidney dialysis (if kidney failure occurs)

· Oxygen


Careful attention to personal hygiene is key to avoiding MRSA infections.

· Notify anyone you might come in contact with if you are contagious

· Wash your hands frequently (if not able to wash hands recommended use antibacterial hand wash or instant hand sanitizer).

· Make sure all health care providers wash their hands before examining you.

· Do not share personal items such as towels, clothes, equipment, soap, deodorant, etc.

· Cover all wounds with a clean bandage, and avoid contact with other people's soiled bandages.

· Avoid common whirlpools or saunas if another participant has an open sore.

· Make sure that shared bathing facilities are clean.


Related links:

Loyola health services

Center for Disease Control




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