Title of material

MSSA & MRSA Preoperative Screening Information
Staphylococcus aureus & MRSA Preoperative Screening Information
What are Staphylococcus aureus and MRSA?
Staph aureus is a germ usually found on or in a person’s skin, nose and mucous
membranes. Methicillin is a type of antibiotic used to treat infections caused by Staph
. If Staph aureus is sensitive to the antibiotic Methicillin (meaning Methicillin can
cure the infection), it is called Methicillin Sensitive Staph aureus (MSSA). MRSA
stands for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Methicillin would not be
effective to treat a MRSA infection; however, there are other antibiotics that can be
What is infection vs. colonization?
An infection means that the germs that are in or on the body are causing illness.
Symptoms may include fever, a high white blood cell count, pus from a wound, or
pneumonia. Germs can also be in or on the body and not cause illness. This is called
colonization. People who are colonized have no signs or symptoms of illness. They
simply carry the bacteria on their body. People may be colonized with S.aureus or
MRSA, or they may cause infections.
Who will be screened for Staph aureus and MRSA?
An important part of the preoperative evaluation is the identification of possible sources
of infection. Patients having elective surgical procedures at OSS Orthopaedic Hospital
will be screened for Staph aureus and MRSA during Preadmission Testing. If they’re
found to be a Staph aureus or MRSA carrier, they will be given a prescription for
mupiricin or bactroban to apply to both nostrils for 5 days prior to surgery.
Will it hurt?
NO! A cotton swab will be carefully inserted into the nose. It does not hurt but it may

Org: 10/10
MSSA & MRSA Preoperative Screening Information

Why are patients screened for Staph aureus and MRSA before surgery?
While people can carry Staph aureus and MRSA on the skin without any problems, it
may increase their chances of developing a postoperative infection. Our program is a
precautionary measure that identifies patients that carry these bacteria and treats them
prior to surgery to help lower the risk of developing a surgical site infection.
All patients who are found to be positive for MRSA or Staph aureus colonization and
are having surgical procedures will be given a CHG Kit to wash with 5 days prior to
surgery. The kit contains a special soap called chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) and 5
disposable wash cloths that are used to help decrease the amount of bacteria on the
skin prior to surgery. They will also be given a prescription for an antibiotic (mupirocin)
to apply in each nostril twice a day for 5 days prior to surgery.
What will this mean for my hospital care?
Patients that are positive for MRSA will be placed on contact precautions during their
hospitalization. This means that hospital staff and visitors will wear gowns and gloves
when entering the room. All of these steps are to keep these germs from spreading to
What precautions can I take to prevent the spread to other patients or family
Hand washing is the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself and
others around you. Here are some recommendations that help to prevent the spread
of MRSA.
When you are in the hospital use the alcohol-based hand sanitizer dispensers – they are located throughout the building and in your room. Use them, they are there for you. As you leave and enter your room, wash your hands. Do not share personal items such as towels, razors, or toothbrushes. It is acceptable to ask health care workers, “Did you wash your hands?” before they attend to you. They could use a friendly reminder just like the rest of us. Org: 10/10
MSSA & MRSA Preoperative Screening Information
We will be glad to have an Infection Prevention Specialist answer any additional questions that you may have. If you would like to speak to an Infection Prevention Specialist, please inform your nurse or healthcare provider. This information is provided to you as a guide only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about your health, physical fitness or medical condition, you should seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Org: 10/10

Source: http://www.osshospital.com/files/MRSAPreOpScreeningInfo.pdf

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