Tips for Caregivers Regarding MRSA Prevention
What loved ones need to know
Tinton Falls, NJ -- (ReleaseWire) -- 11/12/2007 -- A study published by the American Medical Association showed a significant increase in the number of MRSA cases in both healthcare settings and the general population. The statistics have alarmed many in the schools and public healthcare facilities and many are in the process of implementing added preventive measures. But how can you prevent MRSA if you are a caregiver who is monitoring a loved one at home?
Charles Larobis, RN, BSN is the director of Resident Care at Kensington Court Assisted Living facility and Adult Day Care in Tinton Falls, NJ. He is has been training and educating family members of residents and states the recent MRSA information “cannot get enough attention” and believes there has to be a strong presentation on preventative measures.
MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant Staphlococcus aureus, is a bacterial infection of the skin which, if left untreated, can be transmitted to the blood stream. Because MRSA is resistant to commonly prescribed antibiotics, it is more difficult to treat than other strains of Staph.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), good hygiene and hand washing plays a critical role in the spread of MRSA and deterrence of infection.
Larobis explains the guidelines as promoting the use of soap, warm water that is not too hot or too cold and using friction. The length of time, according to Larobis, is equally important: about 15 seconds. “A good way for a caregiver to remember that is to sing the song ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ while washing their hands.” Larobis said.
Another concern that Larobis feels home caregivers need to know is regarding open wounds and cuts. “The skin is the body’s primary line of defense,” he states “you need to clean it well and cover it.” This is especially true, according to Larobis, of patients who have a Foley catheter. He adds that caregivers who are handling the devices need to take particular caution in this regard because catheter “is a direct route of entry for such an infection”.
The CDC also approves the use of disinfectant hand sanitizers, such as Purell, to prevent the spread of MRSA when soap and water are not available.
Kensington Court has acquired 30 disinfectant hand sanitizer dispensers and has placed them strategically throughout the building. John Woznisky, General Manager of the assisted living and adult day club said, “We have them in the Dining Room, at the elevator banks, and anywhere they can be accessible to staff and residents.”
MRSA infected skin may look like a common “spider bite”, turf burn, abscess, boil or Impetigo, according to the CDC. Caregivers who notice such symptoms should report them to a physician as soon as possible and avoid further contact.
Kensington Court is a unique Assisted Living facility and Adult Day Club. Opened in 2002 it provides care for individuals hallmarked with compassion, professionalism, and recognition of the dignity of each of their residents. Kensington Court was selected as “One of the Ten Best Assisted Living Communities in the Country” by the Assisted Living Federation of America.
Kensington Court is located at 864 Shrewsbury Avenue in Tinton Falls, NJ. For more information on Assisted Living and Adult Day Health Services you can call 732-784-2400 or visit the website at http://www.kensingtoncourt.net.
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