Avoiding MRSA Infection – Prevention and Natural Treatments
MRSA infection, (Methl-Resistant Staph Aureus), is a deadly form of staph. Each year some 500,000+ patients in American hospitals contract the infection or a similar form of it. Staphylococcus Aureus is the most common cause of staph infection today.
Staph is a dangerous bacteria frequently living on the skin or in the nose of any person. It can cause a range of illnesses from minor skin infections, such as pimples, impetigo, boils, cellulitis, abscesses, to life-threatening diseases, such as pneumonia, meningitis, endocarditis, toxic shock syndrome (TSS), and septicemia. It's nothing to mess around with!
MRSA infection, (also called the superbug) is a superior form of the deadly staph bacteria! Last year, there were a reported 94,000 cases reported with 16,000 of those cases resulting in death. It was discovered for the first time in 1961 in the UK, but it is now widespread, especially in a hospital setting.
On average, ten Americans die every hour from an infection acquired in a local U.S. hospital. That is simply unacceptable!
Here's a short story to demonstrate how deadly MRSA infection can be.
"It is a miracle that 63-year-old Marion Costa survived her hospital infection nightmare. In 2003, Marion was rushed to the hospital because of life threatening gastrointestinal bleeding. After giving Marion two pints of blood, hospital staff left an IV line in her arm just in case she needed additional transfusions.
A few days later, Marion became disoriented and developed a fever of 105-degree. She was diagnosed with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. Her doctor took one look at the outdated IV line that was still in her arm after six days, and knew what caused it.
Unfortunately, that was just the beginning of Marion’s hospital ordeal. A week later she developed further complications, including a blood infection due to the IV line used to administer her antibiotics. She was treated with eight different antibiotics to stop the blood infection".
How to Prevent MRSA Infection!
It is difficult to quantify the degrees of morbidity and mortality attributable to MRSA. Patients who developed a MRSA infection had, (on average), 3 times the length of hospital stay (14.3 vs 4.5 days), 3 times the total charges ($48,824 vs $14,141), and 5 times the risk of in-hospital death (11.2 percent vs 2.3 percent) than inpatients without the infection.
However, the bacteria can be detected in asymptomatic patients by a simple blood test. Combined with extra sanitary measures for those in contact with infected patients, screening patients admitted to hospitals has been found effective in minimizing spread in hospitals in Denmark, Finland, and the Netherlands.
MRSA lives on the skin and spreads quickly! It is interesting to note that many people who are symptomatic present with pus-filled boils, and occasionally with rashes. The bacteria is very tricky! As flu season starts, your risks become even greater. The flu virus can weaken your immune system, which makes you extremely susceptible.
In the United States the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, (in guidelines issued 19 October 2006), cited the need for additional research, but declined to recommend such screening.
The main problem is, that over the past few years, the bacteria has become resistant to antibiotics. Left untreated and allowed to enter the bloodstream, MRSA infection CAN and WILL KILL.
The best way to bolster your immunity is to take vitamins daily, which help fight infections before they ever get started. For example, a vitamin D deficiency can increase your risks three fold or more.
The best way to avoid infections is to simply STAY OUT of the hospital in the first place. If you get sick or need any medical attention, go to an urgent care facility or the health department instead. If you need medical equipment, you can purchase many items today (wheelchairs, hospital beds) for home use. That sure beats taking a chance on a hospital stay!
Treatment of MRSA
Clinical studies show that tea tree oil, properly diluted, is effective in treating MRSA skin infections. It is less effective at clearing nasal passages, however. Great importance is placed on proper dilution of tea tree oil because if the solution is too weak, microorganisms can develop resistance to the oil.
How to mix tea tree oil solution: Mix 5 parts of tea tree oil with 95 parts of water. Tea tree oil however, should never be taken internally.
Learn more: Tea Tree Oil Remedies
On 18 May 2006, a team of researchers from Merck Pharmaceuticals published in Nature Magazine, that they had discovered an entirely new type of antibiotic, called Platensimycin, and have demonstrated that it can be used successfully to fight MRSA infection.
An entirely different and promising approach is phage therapy, which reports efficacy against up to 95 percent of tested staph isolates. This is good news if you like taking antibiotics but clearly this option is NOT a good alternative for everyone.
Two other remedies for mersa infection which have proven to be useful are iodine and colloidal silver. Since MRSA seems to like taking up house along the lining of your nostrils, using a neti pot or purchasing the nasal-spray versions can be beneficial.
Raw honey dressings are also being successfully used for the prevention and topical treatment of MRSA.
It has been reported that use of maggots to treat a MRSA infection has also been successful. In a recent study done on diabetic patients, the treatment time has been significantly less than that of other standard treatments.
Alcohol has proven to be an effective topical sanitizer against MRSA if used regularly.
As MRSA has the capability to survive on surfaces and fabrics including privacy curtains or garments worn by care providers, the need for complete surface sanitation is necessary to eliminate MRSA in areas where patients are recovering from invasive procedures.
Vaporized sanitizers reach areas missed by traditional cleaning methods, particularly in ER and ICU units. Ambulances, police vehicles, artificial turf surfaces, and sports equipment are also areas where MRSA infections can be found.
At the end of August 2004, after a successful pilot program to tackle MRSA, the UK National Health Service announced its 'Clean Your Hands' campaign. Wards were required to ensure that alcohol-based hand sanitizers were placed near all beds so that staff could hand wash more regularly. Their thought was that if this cut infection by just 1 percent, the plan would pay for itself many times over.
Health care workers however, are reportedly largely neglecting the simple, yet effective, practice of hand-washing, despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's report; that hand-washing alone would save the lives of roughly 30,000 patients per year in the US, not from Mersa alone, but from all nosocomial infections.
Mathematical models describe one way in which a loss of infection control can occur after measures for screening and isolation seem to be effective for years, as happened in the UK. In the 'search and destroy' strategy that was employed by all UK hospitals until the mid 1990s, all patients with MRSA were immediately isolated, and all staff were screened and prevented from working until they had completed a course of eradication therapy that was proven to work.
Loss of control occurs because colonized patients are discharged back into the community and then readmitted. When this happens the number of colonized patients in the community reaches a certain threshold, the 'search and destroy' strategy is then overwhelmed.
In the USA, reports have been increasing of outbreaks of colonization and infection through skin contact in locker rooms and gymns, even among healthy populations. MRSA infection is also becoming a problem in pediatrics including hospital nurseries. A 2007 study found that 4.6 percent of patients in US health-care facilities were infected or colonized.
The Benefits of Simple Hand Washing
If you love a good workout, MRSA infection loves you. Until recently, the infection was pretty much confined to hospitals. Unfortunately, it has acquired an antibiotic resistance to all penicillins, including Methicillin and other narrow-spectrum penicillin antibiotics.
To avoid getting it, wash you hands frequently, wash your towels and uniforms or gym clothes frequently, clean wounds and scratches immediately, and don't share personal workout equipment with friends.
It's no wonder that prevention is KEY! If you have to go to the hospital, take your own hand sanitizing gel with an alcohol base, make sure bed linens are kept fresh, take several days of clean clothes, ask questions about your IV’s expiration date if you have one, and talk to staff about the deadly infection. Find out what actions they’re taking to prevent it.
Also keep contacts with other patients who are not healthy to an absolute minimum, and don’t touch anyone who has an open cut or wound. Wear a face mask if it makes you feel better too. These can be easily bought beforehand at any super store.
You also need to keep your body clean! If you use a public shower, be sure to bring a pair of water shoes you can wear to protect your feet. Unfortunately, they are susceptible too!
We all enter a hospital and think we’ll be leaving it. Know your hospital before you go. Make sure it’s sanitary enough for you to avoid the deadly MRSA infection!
Find out more information about Staph here:
Center for Disease Control
Always consult your physician before using natural remedies, especially for anyone with preexisting conditions or anyone currently taking prescription medications. Although many efforts are made to ensure that the advice given on this site is professionally sound, the advice is not intended to replace a mutual relationship with a medical provider.
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