Caring For Patients With Infections

We screen all our patients for MRSA on admission to hospital.

For emergency patients

One of our staff will ensure that you receive your screen result as soon as possible. If it is positive you will be started on some treatment and we will try to reduce or eliminate the amount of MRSA you are carrying.

This will involve an ointment to be applied to the inside of your nose for five days and using an antiseptic wash / shampoo while you remain in hospital. If you are discharged before completing the initial five days you will be given the rest to take home with you. In addition, to prevent the MRSA spreading to other patients, you may be nursed in a single room or in a ward or part of a ward together with other patients who have screened positive for MRSA.

For elective patients

No test is perfect but the one we use picks up about 90 per cent of people who are carrying MRSA. However, this means that it is possible that you still may be carrying MRSA even if the test is negative. In addition, it does not pick up people who are carrying ordinary Staph aureus. For this reason we think it is a good idea to use antiseptic washes to shower and shampoo your hair during the 48 hours before the operation. Depending on the type of surgery, you may be given a container of Hibiscrub at your pre-operative assessment visit. Otherwise, you are welcome to purchase some from your pharmacy.

If your MRSA screen shows you are carrying MRSA you will be informed as soon as possible. This does not mean that you are infected with MRSA, only that you are carrying it on your skin. In some cases your surgeon will decide to delay your operation to see if you can be cleared of MRSA, but in many cases the surgery will proceed as normal although you will be asked to take some treatment for a few days before the operation. This treatment will involve applying an ointment to the inside of your nose and showering and shampooing your hair with an antiseptic soap. You will be given full instructions on how and when to use these.

In addition, when you are admitted for your operation you may be nursed in a single room or in a ward or part of a ward together with other patients who have screened positive for MRSA.

Nursing patients with infections

Sometimes it may be necessary to nurse patients with additional precautions if they have an infection or are prone to infections.

This may mean they are moved into a different bed or ward and being nursed in a room of your own.

Staff may be required to wear aprons and gloves when they are looking after these patients.

Visitors should also take extra care to ensure they wash their hands thoroughly and should speak to the nurse or midwife in charge, who will tell them if they need to take any additional precautions such as wearing an apron.

For more information download our leaflets on MRSA and C.Difficile.