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Etiquette

MRSA. kind of long

Hi ladies,I have a very serious question, any and all help will be appreciated. I arrived at work last week and I was told a client of mine is infected with MRSA. I have told my agency he may have this for months now but I was told not to diagnose my clients. He has had EVERY symptom of it. I asked my agency what precautions are being taken and they told me "use gloves and wash your hands." After asing them where the MRSA was (lungs, spetum, blood) and the response I got was "I dont know, just make sure you wash your hands."My staff and I have requested robes and face shields. I arrived at work just an hour ago and there is nothing here. My staff told me the agency said to stop making a big deal about this. I was told his doctor would be called but he has yet to be contacted for further information on this. Suggestions or experiences?I am a little more than worried about this because I have weak lungs and they have yet to find out if its in his spetum. (He has had a horrible horrible cough and he is unable to use motor skills to shield his cough.)T.I.A

Re: MRSA. kind of long

  • Sorry I didnt post my question. Can they deny us proper universal precautions seeing as this is a contractable illness or am I freaking out for no reason?
  • i don't know the answer to your question, but MRSA isn't something to play with. my stepbrother had it and was incredibly ill for what seemed like a very long time.
  • What agency do you work for?  I think you have reason to call the board of health and ask about your rights in treating it.
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  • Where do you live?  What they can get in trouble for would depend on your local laws.As a coach, we have MRSA education every other year.  They are always concerned about direct physical contact, and not coughing.  As in, open sores/wounds that are infected.  They site lack of showering after practice in football and wrestling athletes who potentially share pads/mats as the danger group in HS sports.  They've never told me to be wary of someone coughing on me.As long as you weren't sharing shorts with him, I think you're fine.
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  • Disclaimer:  I have ZERO medical degree/classwork.  Just what they cover in the coaches medical symposium.
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  • I agree that you should contact your board of health.
  • I'm not exactly sure how to answer either (I think I'm missing something), but MRSA is no joke. Where do you work? I worked in a community health center (in behavioral health), and any patient who had MRSA was supposed to stay home if their mental health status wasn't dire. That's how we were protected (though the medical doctors of course were supposed to treat the patients).



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  • I had MRSA a few years ago, it was a b!tch to get rid of. If you think you have a weaker immune system or are in weaker health than most, then you might have cause for concern. When I had it, it was an open wound. With an open wound, you need to be careful not to touch it. If the wound is properly covered and no one is touching it, spreading the infection should not be an issue. When I had MRSA, I continued to go to work, school, no problem. I shared a bathroom with a roommate who never experienced any issues. I got MRSA from my fi, he was living in the perfect conditions for MRSA. It runs rampant in gyms and hospitals because of weakened health and shared equipment and blisters and other open wounds. If you work with multiple small children, I might be concerned about the other children as, obviously, kids aren't great about not sharing germs. Ultimately, I would say you don't need to worry about it. I made the mistake of telling coworkers once that my doctor THOUGHT I had MRSA and they freaked and sent me home. I was ticked because I knew it wasn't an issue and I was not contagious. You could always ask to stay home until they know what is going on.
  • Dude, I don't think The Knot message boards are the best place to get an answer to your question. Can you ask anyone higher up at your agency?
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  • i wouldn't go near him without the equipment you asked for. i don't know much about it, but i saw a show where a guy had it and he was being arrested. the cops refused to touch him & an ambulance came and got him. they had on gloves and covered the gourney.(sp?)
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  • If the wound is properly covered and no one is touching it, spreading the infection should not be an issue.This is the policy of the state high school athletic association here.  As long as it is covered, taped, etc. and no ooze (yeah, gross), you can play.  I don't think airborne sputum is the danger with MRSA.  But - call your local health department or your personal physician and get their qualified medical opinion.
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  • Yes I should add that I am not a doctor. What I have shared is based on my experience with the infection, what research I did, and what my doctor shared with me.
  • Disclaimer--this is not official medical adviceMRSA is typically contact precaution--gloves and gowns--to avoid contraction. That said, many people have MRSA somewhere on their body and don't know it--it doesn't necessarily affect you unless you have a weakened immune system or an open wound area that can contract it. You can come into contact with it and not even know it.I agree with ringpop, though--best to ask your health department or similar before freaking out about what needs to be done.
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  • I am not a Dr or Nurse, but I do work with many daily. I work on a Cardiac/Pulmonary floor in a hospital. Any patient that has MRSA, we must put a sign outside their room. Therapists, Drs, Nurses, and Visitors need to follow precautions according to that and on the cart there are things such as gloves, sanitizer, masks, and toss away cover ups. Now, say I have to bring paperwork in to a room of a patient with MRSA in a wound on their backside. I am not coming in to direct contact with that patient's would, so I would not use anything on my way in. I would drop of said paper on a table or hand it to the patient. When I exited room I would use the provided hand sanitizer, making sure to get every exposed spot on my hand.Talking about MRSA of the sputum is a whole different story. One of my best friends has this. She contarcted it after a serious accident and long stay in the hopital. At this point, it is colonized. Now, like I said, I am no Dr, but I do know that means she can't spread it like she used to be able to. For a patient with active MRSA in the sputum, you would want gloves, face mask, and a cover up. Not to mention the sanitizer on the way out.That is just my experience with MRSA. I hope that helps.
  • oh, and as to what rhode said...many nurses have said to me "We probably all have MRSA in our nares from working here." It's true, a lot of people carry it and are never affected.
  • Sorry to be a post who4, but I also just wanted to say, again, this is not official medical advice, just my personal observations. As far as you agency, as others said, the dept. of health needs to be notified.
  • Thank you for all your in put. I know this isnt the place but I figured with all of you I was bound to receive some insight. I just got to work about an hour ago so the agency isnt available right now. I was told by other staff that we arnt getting materials. They havent told us anything about this. I was only here at this house one day last week so I havent really been in the loop. I will be calling my doctor as well as my agency in the a.m. I just needed some info to calm my nerves for now. I am at work right now, sorry if I take a while to respond.
  • Oh, I work for an M.R agency. Its a Group home atmosphere.
  • I should mention that he is a complete physical contact. He needs to be lifted out of bed, chairs etc. Which was my main concern for gowns.  
  • Back when I was a CNA (nursing assistant) all MRSA patients had gloves, gowns and masks outside their room... Didn't matter where the infection was. One women had a small eyebrow wound and it required the same... This was not only to protect us, but other patients we came in contact with. Now that I am in ophthalmology we have patient with it and we just use regular universal precautions... Which is right of these... I cannot say. I would go on the cautious side to protect not just you, but who you come in contact with who may be immunocompromised
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  • Can they deny us proper universal precautions seeing as this is a contractable illness or am I freaking out for no reason?This is not intended to be medical advice but I was curious and found this on the CDC's website: Standard Precautions, as described in the Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmissionof Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings 2007 , should control the spread of MRSA in most instances.I still think you should go higher up in the agency though.
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