MRSA is short for methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a group of bacteria that have developed resistance to methicillin type antibiotics. These bacteria belong to Staphylococcus aureus (SA) bacterial family. Most of the infections caused by Staphylococcus bacteria are treated with methicillin-type antibiotics. The following paragraphs will cover some information related to MRSA blood infection symptoms as well as prognosis.
MRSA Blood Infection Causes
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a strain of bacteria that is commonly found on skin and the nasal passages of healthy individuals. When an infection caused by Staphylococcus is treated using antibiotics, some bacteria develop resistance to the medications. These bacteria divide and grow in number leading to a serious infection that does not respond to standard antibiotic treatment. This bacterial infection is called MRSA infection.
MRSA infection can occur when these bacteria gain access into the body through a cut, sore, catheter, or a breathing tube. This is referred to as an exogenous infection. Coming in contact with a person who either has an infection of MRSA or carries a colony of MRSA bacteria can lead to an infection. It can also be passed on by coming in contact with contaminated bed sheets, clothes, towels, door knobs, taps, etc. In some cases it is an endogenous infection. This means the patient was colonized by MRSA bacteria. A cut, wound or other openings in the skin allowed the bacteria to invade the body. Thus, leading to an infection.
This infection is commonly seen in hospital patients. The infection can either be a minor infection, like a pimple, occurring locally or it can also turn out to be a serious infection that involves the heart, bone, lungs or blood. This serious MRSA infection is commonly seen in people who have weak immune systems, like those in long-term hospital care or on kidney dialysis.
MRSA Blood Infection Symptoms
The infection can begin as a skin infection initially. These symptoms, with increasing severity, include the following:
- Red, swollen area like a pimple on skin
- Pain in swollen area
- Pus draining or other fluid draining out of the skin
- Skin abscess
- The area feels warm to touch
- Chest pain
- Muscle ache
- MRSA rash
- Shortness of breath
MRSA infection is a very serious complication. It can lead to septicemia, septic shock, septic arthritis, meningitis, pneumonia, bone infection, endocarditis and even internal abscess. These internal abscesses can affect major organs of the body like kidneys, liver and spleen. This in turn leads to low blood pressure, weight loss and multi-organ failure. Septicemia is the leading cause of death due to MRSA infection.
MRSA Blood Infection Prognosis
The treatment involves draining of the skin sores, if any. It becomes very difficult to treat MRSA infection as the organism is antibiotic resistant as compared to another regular staph infection treatment and symptoms. The few antibiotics that seem to have some effect on Staphylococcus are clindamycin, doxycycline, minocycline, tetracycline, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, vancomycin, etc.
It is very important to finish off all the doses of the drugs prescribed as leaving the dose mid-way may lead to poor prognosis. The organism may develop further immunity leading to more serious infections. This may cause a relapse in some patients that may require hospitalization, kidney dialysis or oxygen therapy. The prognosis is associated with high death rates. The overall prognosis depends on the severity of the infection.
Is MRSA Blood Infection Contagious?
There are many people who wonder about MRSA infection being contagious? The answer to this simple questions is 'yes'. MSRA is a contagious infection just like Staph infections. The infection can spread from person to person through direct as well as indirect contact. This is most commonly seen in health care workers or attendants who are constantly helping other patients with infections.
They also get infected by handling medical apparatus and devices that are contaminated with MRSA bacterium. The MRSA bacterium is present all over the body, blood and urine of an infected person. Coming in contact with any infected material from the patient without wearing gloves or improper washing of hands make the health care workers vulnerable to the bacterium. Patients on the other hand get infected by the bacterium due to contaminated medical equipment or the strain of bacteria they are infected with mutates into a resistant strain. This was some explanation for is MRSA contagious.
If not treated early, the blood infection can turn into sepsis or blood poisoning. This is a very dangerous situation that can prove to be fatal. Do not share your personal items like towels, hankies, toothbrush, combs, etc. with other people. Hospital staff should always wear protective gear like gloves and masks when handling patients. This is one of the ways to prevent MRSA by maintaining personal hygiene and cleanliness.