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I'm not taking about suing them, but isn't there a responsibility for them for spreading it to a patient? My mother got cancer in her knee and it grew so big that it busted her knee. They cut off her leg in 2 places, above the knee and below the knee, then replace the knee with a replacement and then sewed everything back together very nicely. She has her own leg. But she has been in rehab for about 9 months so far. She has had to have 2 more surgeries to remove infections from her knee. Well now they say she has MRSA in her knee. Since the 1st surgery she hasn't been able to put any weight on that leg because it was causing so much pain. She is supposed to be in isolation but twice now they have brought in another roommate for her. They don't stay long, but still. Shouldn't isolation mean isolation. What about the women they bring in for a couple of days?. Another question is, I have been trying to bring her home so I can care for her. Everytime it is almost possible, then something sets us back. Can the caretaker get the MRSA? If yes, is airborne or is it by coming in contact with her by changing the wounds? I'm just learning about this horrible virus. I've heard that there is no cure, is this true?

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Sak9 - really you should have a show on the comedy channel as your ill-informed comment made me laugh so hard I almost spit out my coffee on my laptop.

The key to dealing with MRSA and CRE for family is knowledge and hygiene - like basic hand washing. Purell is fine but basic hand washing and hotwater cleaning of housewares and linens is important. Right now with the flu running high in the US, alot of folks have a low immune level from fighting off the flu so we will likely see a spike in MRSA this spring. One thing to keep in mind that MRSA is pretty common and usually runs it's course without any big problems and if you go and start serious staph drugs that can have a whole set of problems as those meds are often hard on the GI system so you get tummy troubles and kill off good bacteria and then you get a big time yeast infection. It's a tough balance for doc's and family to do.
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Just be careful some Ombudsman are friends with the DON -you can talk to them but the Board of Health are the only ones who can do more than lip service start with your local Dept. of Health then if need be go to the Board of health-I was finally told that upon their next inspection that -breach in proper isolation would be addressed and trust me the people who do the inspections-the joint commisions put the fear of God in hospital personnal they are like junk yard dogs I have heard of head nurses or managers as they are now called disolve into puddles of tears.
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In response to your question about the facility giving your mother a roommate...usually they do that if 2 people have the same kind of infection. If the MRSA is "colonized," meaning it's only in that area (her leg), then she can be "cohorted" with someone of like infection. As many others have said, in healthcare, a lot of the professionals actually will be positive for MRSA when swabbed because it is becoming so rampant in the industry. You should absolutely be asking to speak with the Director of Nursing (DoN), or the wound care nurse, if they have one, and if you are getting lied to, or brushed off, immediately contact the Ombudsman or the State to lodge a complaint and they will investigate. Yes, they may do nothing, as some have pointed out, but you should also do your due diligence to inform yourself and your mother about her stay in the facility. The Social Worker would also be a good person to speak with.
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My husband was isolation and his room did not have soap in the bathroom-I notified Board of health and they sent a form letter that was useless -we have to make sure things are done right.
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Keep in mind that it was a hugely invasive surgery your mom had. Recovery was bound to be anything but smooth. Opportunistic infections like MRSA love to get ahold of a host with big, open wounds and a compromised immune system (due to both the recent trauma of a big surgery and cancer and due to age). I'm not saying the health care professionals can't be to blame (she obviously picked up the infections on their watch), but even if they were following procedures to the letter, your mom was still a bit of a sitting duck for infection. Also, except for suing, which you said is not your interest, what would be the point of a formal admission of guilt on the part of the health care facility? If they were lax in their adherence to procedures, then it might be worth pursuing in order to encourage them to take a critical look at their performance in that area, but if not, your energies can probably be better spent elsewhere than hoping for an apology just for the satisfaction it might bring.
Good luck to your mom in her recovery. You didn't mention how old she is but, given how big a surgery she underwent, it would be a long and rocky road for even a middle-aged person. When my husband's grandfather faced a similar scenario about 20 years ago, his only option was amputation.
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Get some colloidal silver (Sovereign Silver Spray, 2 oz for $15) . This is excellent for any bacterial infections. I squirt it in my mouth (5 to 10 squirts) every now and then to keep my bacterial load low and to keep me from catching any bacterial infections. My cat has or had a bacterial infection of the mouth (stomatitis) and I used Sovereign Silver spray (I squirt per day) to kill off the bacteria in her mouth. She could not eat and the Erythromiyaicn that the vet gave me only worked for a few months. Now she eats and eats as if she had no infection.
In a few short years we will all be immune to the man-made antibiotics and we will have to rely on the natural ones. So consider also raw garlic. I chewed on this once (a few cloves each day with rice to dampen the sting) for 4 or 5 days when I was diagnosed with a bacterial infection to my eye tear duct and it stopped the infection. Also consider a good Olive Leaf Extract brand. I would recommend Olive Leaf Immune by Premier Research Labs. Check out also Bentonite Clay. Find a brand that can be taken internally. There are other natural remedies, you just need to do your own research.
I think your mom is catching MRSA from the hospital or whatever facility she is at. I understand that unless they clean up the place, patients will keep catching it. You should remove your mom from that facility ASAP and take care of her at home where she will be isolated.
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Thank you, "rnm354" for pointing out to "@sak9" (who is clearly insane) that "anger, jealousy and self-importance" etc. do not cause MRSA. However, if "self importance" did in fact cause MRSA, then "@sak9" is obviously a carrier. To respond to the actual question, I think there may be some circumstances when a hospital or facility may well be legally liable for damages caused by MRSA, if their conduct could be proved to be negligent. These places have a duty to keep their patients safe, and breach of that duty by exposing patients to MRSA could well be negligence. [Maybe the facility was "angry and jealous," hehe.] Talk to an attorney who takes negligence cases on a contingent fee basis.
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I don't know how much this will help, but MRSA is not always deadly; it tends to be more virulent than other staph, but there are some strains in the community and even in hospitals that are sensitive to relatively common antibiotics like Bactroban topically or Bactrim (aka Septra, trimethoprom-sulfmethoxisole). Some people may just carry it and not be ill with it. The big factor in its spread is thought to be the widespread practice of antibiotic overuse, not lowered immunity or lifestyle factors (it's not AIDS, folks.)
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MRSA is a deadly infection that is running rampant in hospitals and nursing homes. Good hygiene habits, especially washing your hands, wearing gloves and using sanitizers on common surfaces should be practiced. Also, cutting down on the use of antibiotics except when absolutely necessary. My father, who lived with me had his gallbladder removed in February of 2012 and had gallstones in his bile duct in August 2012 that required a short hospital stay as well as rehab in a nursing home. He also had home health care during the year. On Monday, November 5 he had a couple teeth pulled. Wednesday we took him to the ER with a fever and chills. He was admitted to the hospital and after cultures were done it was determined that he MRSA in his bloodstream. He was in our local hospital for a week and a half and then transferred to a long term hospital facility out of state where he was to get IV antibiotics for six weeks. He died there a week later from complications. He had a heart valve replaced in 2006 and the MRSA went straight to it and made it "ground zero" for the rest of his body. Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation circulating about this infection (it is a staph infection resistant to antibiotics). There is also another one, CRE, which has no known cure and is starting to show up more in hospitals. The ridiculous statements made by saf9 only reiterates the fact that many people are misinformed about this dangerous and wildly spreading infection. My father had some other health issues but he did not drink, do drugs, smoke, have a low immune system, bad nutrition, overload of prescribed medications and was a good Christian man of high morals. Believe me I have talked to many, many doctors, nurses and other health care professionals and done hours of research on the subject and have never seen or heard such rubbish in reference to the cause of MRSA. I have gone through Hell trying to think of what I could have done differently to prevent this from happening. The answer is that there was nothing I could have done. I always wore gloves when bathing him or treating any sores or cuts on him and even then washed my hands constantly but I don't know about all of the other people who treated him in the hospital or had contact with him. As PaulaK states, it's next to impossible to pinpoint who is responsible and no one is immune to MRSA.
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@sak9-- Question for YOU- what in the world are YOU smoking???????

MRSA is spreading due to:

"illegal drugs, smoking, loss of one's spiritual purpose on this earth, i.e. anger, jealousy, self-importance, immoral behaviors, etc"?????

Seriously- where did you come up with that crap???
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MRSA spreads. My mother had this when she was undergoing treatment for cancer ... we don't know where or when she picked it up, but it massively delayed her ability to start radiation treatment. She was living at home with my father at the time, and both she and he developed painful sores. I'm guessing she picked it up at the hospital while recovering from her double mastectomy, but I don't know how he picked it up from her ... unlike my mother, he hadn't just had major surgery and didn't have a compromised immune system.

Anyway, it seemed as if it took forever to deal with. I remember they had to try to sterilize most surfaces in their house and launder or throw away just about every blanket, sheet, towel, etc. that they owned, and just wait and wait for something to work and the sores to go away so my Mom could start her full cancer treatment. It was traumatic for them, and eye-opening for me. When I visit any medical/health care setting now, I wash and sterilize my hands with neurotical frequency. It makes me feel a bit like a germ-phobe, but it is in these moments that you realize how many "public surfaces" you touch in a day without even thinking about it ... how many door handles and faucet handles and stair railings and chair arms and bed rails and telephone handsets, and the list goes on and on and on. In an environment like a hospital or an assisted living facility, it is painfully and ridiculously easy for such an infection to spread like wildfire if the staff AND visitors AND patients are not scrupulously, scrupulously careful ... and if something does go wrong, it's next to impossible to pinpoint who is responsible.

Do not assume that because you feel healthy, you are not susceptible to an MRSA infection.
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You were lucky you were told-my mother was in a hospital in Oct and I only found out she had MRSA by listening to the staff report -she was across from the nurses station -even then most docs tried to deny it was true -one of the nurses finally agreed to admit that was what she had-if I had not been a nurse I would not have even known because it is pronounced differently by the medicial profession then the general public and the media.
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You are lucky you were told my mother was in a hospital in
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MRSA is spreading throughout hospitals and nursing homes due to the fact patients and residents, staff and family caregivers have low immune systems. Low immune systems are brought about thru non-nutritional foods, vaccinations, heavy doses of prescribed medications, alcohol, illegal drugs, smoking, loss of one's spiritual purpose on this earth, i.e. anger, jealousy, self-importance, immoral behaviors, etc. With this knowledge of the inner workings of MRSA, we come to the conclusion that each person must take responsiblity for the prevention of MRSA.
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Does anyone have any knowledge on what open sores are? My Mother is 88 and has these --skin sores on her thighs and stomach, the care center is treating them with topical Eucerin,. She jhas early ALZ and they take so long to heal, I think she might be picking the scabs off too.... She is in a wheelchair, I thi nk it is skin breakdown to old age--is that possible?
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I just wanted to add to vstefans post that the doctor should have done a culture of the infected tissue, and the culture will tell them what antibiotic the infection is susceptible to, and treat it accordingly. There are very few infections that are resistant to all antibiotics, and if that is true in your mother's case, then I would insist she be moved back to the hospital where they can keep a better eye on it & ensure it doesn't spread anywhere else in her body. It is typically not transmitted person-to-person unless there is contact made with an open wound - which is why the caretakers are gloved/gowned up while changing the wound dressings - to prevent them from spreading it to other patients.
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It's not a virus, its a bacteria (MRSA = methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus), and bad because it is resistant to many, though not usually, all antibiotics. The isolation is really to protect other patients more than to protect her! Insist on good handwashing, remind staff that forget (that's a policy where we work, families are TOLD to go ahead and do this, not to worry about beign offended, and WE are told not to be offended, but to comply!! (even if we had just washed, maybe outside the room...) She may need her docs to cosnider the kind of pain meds they use for atypical or "neuropathic" pain to help her start weightbearing, though sometimes an infection will cause that much pain by itself. I sure hope treatment works for her and she can start using that leg!! You have all been through a lot.
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