Our Maine Street's Aroostook Issue 5 : Summer 2010 - Page 48

When Good Bugs Go Bad by Professional Home Nursing Your body protects itself with many beneficial organisms called MRSA, is a staph infection that is resistant to antibiotics. inside as well as outside of your body. When the balance of some Certain oral or in some cases intravenous antibiotics will be organisms is out of proportion, they can cause serious illnesses. needed to treat a MRSA infection. Clostridium Difficile and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus are two of these organisms. What are symptoms of MRSA? Boils or blisters Clostridium Difficile (C-Diff) Tenderness of the skin Redness, warmth, swelling and/or drainage Clostridium Difficile, most often called C-Diff, is Fever/chills a normal bacteria found in your intestines. When you take Wounds that do not heal antibiotics, you can upset the balance of other normal bacteria in you intestines, which then causes the C-Diff bacteria to take over. How does MRSA spread? When the C-Diff bacteria takes over, you can have some or all of Skin-to-skin contact the following: Shared objects or surfaces MRSA wound drainage (pus) Cramps Hot tubs, saunas, athletic equipment Mild to severe diarrhea Personal items like soap, towels, bedding or clothing Weight loss Weakness Who is at risk for MRSA? Loss of body fluid (dehydration) which may need to be replaced People with: with IV fluids Recurrent skin disease or open wounds In some severe cases, bowel surgery Long-term illness or long-term dialysis Recent hospital stays or rehab stays Using antibiotics is not the only way you can develop C-Diff. Illicit drug users Ways you can develop C-Diff are: Contact with someone with MRSA Using antibiotics for a long time Recent antibiotic use Getting C-Diff from someone who has C-Diff Living in a crowded area Using acid reducing medications (fluoroquinolones) Any area with public use (continued) When you start antibiotics, doing the following thing(s) can help How do you know if you have MRSA? you from developing C-Diff most of the time. For two months A wound that does not heal (needs to be checked by your do at least one of the following: doctor) Eat two 8-oz. containers of yogurt with active or live A wound that does not heal, even on antibiotics cultures each day (and/or) A positive wound culture for MRSA Take an over-the-counter medication called acidophilus (lactobacillus acidophilus) as directed on the bottle How is MRSA treated? A positive wound culture for MRSA If you or someone in your family has C-Diff, the Regular cleaning and dressing of the wound following can help prevent others from developing C-Diff: An antibiotic pill that is effective for MRSA Wash your hands after going to the bathroom, using friction and An intravenous antibiotic, if the antibiotic pill does not work hot soapy water Cleaning all contaminated surfaces with soapy bleach water (1/4 Wash all your laundry separately, using bleach as much cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water) and let surface dry as possible How do I protect myself from getting MRSA? Clean all surfaces that you use and let air dry with soapy bleach Eat a ba [