What Healthcare Workers Need to Know about Staph aureus & Hospital Acquired Infections

March 22, 2015

Approximately 30% of the population carry the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus in their noses.  The Staph aureus residing in these nasal reservoirs can be a source for hospital acquired infections (HAIs)While Staph is not normally a problem in healthy individuals, those who are in hospitals are at a higher risk of acquiring a serious or even fatal Staph aureus infection.  Patients with open wounds, weakened immune systems and with chronic conditions like as diabetes, cancer, vascular disease, eczema, and lung disease are particularly vulnerable to Staph infections.

A major concern is that Staph aureus can also become antibiotic resistant and develop into Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Vancomycin-intermediate Staphylococcus aureus (VISA), and Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA).  

These infections are spread by touch: skin to skin contact, hand to wound contact.  Even healthcare workers who have followed protocol with hand sanitizers and hand washing may re-contaminate from hand to nose to hand and then to patient. For convenient  access, see list of important links below related to the topic of Staph aureus and HAIs.









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