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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)

What is MRSA?

Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as Staph, is a common bacteria; about one out of three people carries this germ on his or her body. Staph can sometimes can cause serious infections, especially in people with weakened immune systems, such as many health care patients. Staph can cause skin, wound or blood infections, or pneumonia. Most Staph infections can be treated with regular antibiotics. Some types of Staph bacteria, however, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), are resistant to treatment with antibiotics.

What are we doing to reduce MRSA infections?

To prevent MRSA infections, doctors, nurses and other health care team members:

  • Wash their hands with soap and water or clean their hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer before and after caring for every patient.
  • Carefully clean all of our hospital rooms and medical equipment with germ-killing antiseptic materials.

What can patients do to help?

Patients and their families can also help to reduce the risk of MRSA infection. For more information, please read the MRSA fact sheet.

How are we doing?

University of Missouri Health Care has succeeded in reducing our MRSA rates by carefully following the practices listed above. MU Health Care's health care-associated MRSA rates have steadily decreased since 2002. Our infection rates are calculated by comparing the average number of infections for every 1,000 days patients are in our hospitals. MU Health Care's current rates of MRSA infection are less than 0.2 infections per 1,000 patient days, compared to approximately 0.7 infections per 1,000 patient days in 2002. We attribute that success to following the best practices named above, especially strict adherence to guidelines, called body-substance precautions.

More infection prevention measures

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