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My brother was just diagnosed with MRSA in a recurring wound on his foot. Now we are concerned about bringing my mother to stay with my brother for a month in July. This was to be my respite - I missed my February respite because my brother had back surgery, now this. How concerned should we be about this? I don't want to put her in danger, but our trip up to Oregon is important for our mental health, too!

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Most people have MRSA in their nose and most health care workers have MRSA and should always wear gloves when dealing with a patient. MRSA has nothing to do with Aids. Hygiene is the best defense; washing hands often or wearing gloves is extremely important when taking care of an elderly relative. If a person has any foreign object in their body ie pacemaker, defibrillator, etc. MRSA can be extremely dangerous. My father got MRSA in his bloodstream and it went straight to his artificial heart valve and he died in two weeks. You don't have to be a fanatic about it, but use common sense and preventative measures.
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Everyone has MRSA on them. I believe it is an issue if you have aids or other immune system disease otherwise your natural immunity protects you. Everyone at the nursing home has "MRSA". When my dad goes to the hospital he is treated like a lepper but back at the nursing home all is the same. It is weird.
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My husband was diagnosed with MRSA after a swab test of his mouth. What is the difference between this and the other. While he was hospitalized, he was not given any medication for this, but we were told to wash our hands and some were told to wear a mask or scrubs. If anyone has an answer I would appreciate it.
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I have had three MRSA outbreaks since having gall bladder surgery four years ago. My doc told me that pretty much EVERYONE harbors the MRSA virus, and you have to be fanatical about washing your hands! When I care for my parents I swear I wash my hands at least 25 times a day, especially if I will be touching them or preparing food. Wash before you touch them, and after. Wash after using the bathroom. Use latex (or plastic) gloves if you need to bathe your parents or to care for a wound. Most people have some MRSA in their nostrils, so my doc gave me an antibiotic ointment that I swab in each nostril every night. I've used this for two years, have not had another MRSA outbreak, nor have I had a cold or the flu since I started using this stuff.
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My husband had MRSA and C-diff. No one in our household caught the MRSA, but our teenage daughter did catch the c-diff.
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Be very concerned!! My dad has developed MRSA three times, the last time, last June, he almost lost his leg to it. But. . .dad was living alone, has no feeling in his right foot or leg (he has diabetes but denies it.) By the time he was found in the house by a neighbor, the leg was black, he was delirious with pain. We believe he had a TIA during this time also. Got him to the ER, they gave him Vancomycin and got it under control (or so we thought.) Dad came to live with me after rehab, We were back in the hospital, September, October and November, same thing. The last time, they were very aggressive with the Vanco, I gave it to him intravenously for two weeks after discharge, twice a day. Gladimhere is right on, wash your hands before and after treating, wear gloves, keep EVERYTHING clean and dispose of used materials properly. Yes, once a person has contracted it, they are more prone to it. I check my dad's foot and leg every morning for wounds, scrapes, and make sure the skin is moisturized! Have a podiatrist trim the toe nails. I use Aquaphor by direction of the infectious disease specialist we ended up at. Even dry, flaky skin is an entry point for infection. Dry skin is very common in the elderly. That being said, go on your trip and enjoy your renewed mental health! With proper instruction, the family should be able to handle this. Consider a visiting nurse to help as well. Dad's IV was set up at the hospital, the meds were delivered to my house, a nurse came and instructed me how to do it. It really was easy, a portable "ball" that was gravity fed. That way, the patient can move around freely, it took about two hours or so for each ball. Hope this helps!
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Resistant bacteria are everywhere, there is no escape from it. I keep Mom's feet ultra clean, scrubbing off any callous or dead skin after a soak in Betadine Scrub. Throw out any nasty old slippers/ sneakers/bed socks. Clean what you can, throw out what you can't.
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I noted the comment on the wounds..depending
On what it is....diabetic, Bedsore, non closing
Surgical, ven statis etc.....the new theory
Is a bit different..if the drainage is that heavy
It will take a while. I would be tempted
To try a wound vac....I was not impressed
At first, but now think they are quite useful.
I've seen medihoney work when others
Fail.....worst comes to worst dakins sol...
Old but no resistance..
Cover with amd bandage.

Good luck
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Latest update. Apparently it is not MRSA after all, but something close to it. He is going to wound care doctor, and having wound debridement. He went through this a couple of years ago and knows what it takes to get rid of it. He had wound debridement on a weekly basis for a year. Bandage changing daily (that gets expensive - he learned that women's kotex is cheaper and works just as well).

My brother is single and lives alone. He is very clean, and when Mom comes to visit he is a great caregiver. I really can't sing his praises enough. He only has one bathroom, but his doctor and Mom's doctor both said (when they believed that Steve had MRSA) that spraying the tub with bleach after he got out of it would be sufficient to kill the germs. Now that the culture came back as something else, we can relax a bit.

Thanks you everyone for all the great advice. It seems I jumped the gun based on what the doctor told my brother (instead of waiting for the cultures to come in).
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I would buy a product called pHenominal. It's available for would care and drinking supplement. I used it on my mom's small wounds that developed after she had it in her eyes and urine. I did both for 2 years.

Cleaning everything is also a must! Use Clorox wipes...just to ensure things are not contaminated (bathrooms, door knobs, phone fridge handles etc).

Wash hands for 19 seconds (sing Happy Birthday 3 times) to rid your hands of any germs and wear disposable gloves when in contact with the wound.

It is HIGHLY contagious, but none of my family has it and my mom did for a long time before I found pHenominal. It's the only thing that worked - all the horrific antibiotic's and acids for her eyes. I used the treated water to rinse her eyes and it actually worked after months of the medical treatments did not.

Not trying to make you paranoid, but it is contagious. Just have them apart unless sitting in separate chairs - not together on a couch etc and keep those same seating arrangements. Opposite in the room is best if not separate. It is airborn when exposed. So - ensure she's NOT in the room when his bandages are changed.

DON'T share seats, towels, dishes, glasses, anything! Wash in a dishwasher, for your brother - use paper towels.

It is common, but not a good thing to have-)
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You need to go on your trip! Thankfully it is your brother with MRSA and not your mom. My mom's husband, 85, had a cyst removed from his foot, that had been leaking for 10-15 years, last fall that was done as a outpatient. Imagine walking around with wet socks for that long! ;) Two weeks later he developed swelling in the foot and it became quite red while he was receiving home nursing care. We went to the doc on a Friday, not a good day to admit someone to the hospital, and told him I was not comfortable with having to care for the wound myself. Well it ended up that he was admitted on a Friday, the infection had spread to the bone and he had to have the toe amputated. Spent two weeks in the hospital with intravenous IV, and became quite ill. Finally, he was discharged in a significantly weakened state and was admitted to rehab where he spent another three weeks.

MRSA is highly contagious, but with proper cleanliness and wound cleaning, proper disposal of the materials used, should not spread unless your mother handles the wound. One thing to keep in mind is that once someone contracts MRSA, they are more prone to develop it again.
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As a nurse, use what we call "universal precautions". Always glove, and always assume the person you are dealing with has a contagious disease (like AIDS, MRSA, TB, etc). Since you have already made your decision to go on your respite, enjoy yourselves. I would like to know how old your brother is, and your mother. Both ages would have an impact as to their abilities to fight infections. The bandages and cleaning the flooring is paramount.
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MRSA is somewhat common. The number
Of healthcare workers that have it would
Surprise you.

Follow contact precautions. If it is in sites
On the feet and legs...and as long as proper
Wound care is followed, you should be
Ok....but perhaps keep them separated as
Much as possible and use different restrooms
If possible....out of an abundance of caution.
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I think you should take all precautions. I assume that there is atleast one other adult in the house with your brother. Who else will be available to care for her at his house. My Dad has a recurring MRSA infection while at the VA. Institutions such as the VA nursing home are notorious for have MRSA and other infections spread rapidly.
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For your brother, look into Silverlon. I had a family member that had a MRSA that wound that wasn't healing up, and the bozos at {big medical care provider that I'm afraid to mention} didn't even do a debridement. They kept giving pills and were ready to do injection. That being said, a debridement and Silverlon helped. And you're gonna have to find a doctor that's willing to do it, which will be its own challenge. I urge you to think out of the box with MRSA.
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There are different types of MRSA. When my FIL had it, there were open sores due to diabetes and infection and they were kept bandaged. We were told not to touch the area without gloves and proper handwashing.
My grandmother had a strain that was in her lungs and before entering the room, we had to put on a gown, mask, gloves and dispose of them after exiting the room.
The strain your brother has sounds like my FIL's, so your mom should be fine. If it makes you feel better, ask her doctor to be certain she does not have a weakened immune system.
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Thanks to all of you. We plan to go as scheduled and use all precautions necessary. Your input has been very valuable.
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Your mom will be fine. As long as she doesn't rub any open sores into the MRSA site of infection she shouldn't have a problem. :-)
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My husband had MRSA. No one contracted it from him. Like Perseverance said, as long as the infection is bandaged appropriately, there is no risk to your mother getting it unless she were to touch his infection or something touched by the infection and she has an open wound or touches her mouth or eyes with contaminated hands. It is not contracted through the skin or air. The best thing for your mother to do is wash her hands often. And I'm sure your brother and his family were made aware of these as the doctor is usually pretty clear on how to handle it. So please take your much needed vacation from caregiving with ease. You deserve it!
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I think this should be deferred to a medical doctor's advice, really. I personally don't think it will be an issue, as long as the infection is controlled and bandaged and the infected area of his foot doesn't touch anything that your mom might touch. Your brother's family will have to be vigilant about it.

Enjoy your needed respite and let your brother's family deal with this. If they choose not to have your Mom stay with them because of the MRSA, then it is only right they pay for your mom to go into assisted living for the month of July so you can have the break.
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