Staph Infections and MRSA Infections

A staph infection is caused by bacteria which can be found on the skin of most people. On the surface of the skin, the bacteria is largely harmless, but if it finds its way deeper into the body–for example, through an open wound–serious infections can develop.

How someone get a staph infection?

Often, staph infections occur in medical facilities, developing in open wounds or mixing into the bloodstream. But these infections are also being found to develop in schools, particularly among student athletes. This sort of skin infection finds sustenance in breaks in the skin, like a cut or abrasion.

What is a Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) infection?

An MRSA infection is a staph infection which is resistant to common antibiotics–like penicillin and amoxicillin–which are often used for treating these types of infections. Because of their resistance to many medications, these infections can be potentially life-threatening.

Symptoms of MRSA infection include:

  • The appearance of what look to be spider bites or bumps that are painful.

  • Pustules or boils that are red, swollen and painful.

  • Areas of skin irritation that are oozing pus or other drainage.

Treatment and prevention information:

Treatment includes draining the infected area, and using antibiotics that the bacteria are not known to be resistant to. Practicing good hygiene will help to fight off an MRSA infection. Washing hands with soap and water, and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers will help to fend off the infection. Properly cleaning and bandaging cuts or abrasions until they have healed is also effective in staving off MRSA.

A Scary Revelation Regarding Hospitals and MRSA Infections

What is perhaps most unnerving about these infections is that they are often contracted during hospital stays. A 2006 study found that about two million Americans catch staph infections every year, and that just under 100,000 of these cases result in death. To make matters worse, it is also reported that of the patients infected with MRSA during the study period, about 67 percent were checked in to the hospital for non-surgical procedures. This indicates the need for hospitals to practice better hygiene, and emphasizes the need for patients to pay close attention to the quality of the hygiene they receive during their hospital stay.

Catching a staph infection due to poor cleanliness in a hospital is cause for a medical malpractice claim. For more information about health risks and medical treatments, visit the medical malpractice law articles section of this website.