Providence Healthcare
Providence Healthcare

Patient Education – Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

Staphylococcus aureus is a germ that lives on the skin and mucous membranes of healthy people. Occasionally S. aureus can cause an infection. When S. aureus develops resistance to certain antibiotics, it is called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). MRSA is spread from person to person through contaminated hands (direct contact) or a contaminated environment (indirect contact).

Providence reports its rates of MRSA on aquarterly basis to help foster transparency and awareness of patient safety. View our rates here.

What special precautions are required for MRSA?

It’s important that special precautions are taken to stop MRSA from spreading to other patients in the hospital, including:

  • Single room accommodation (the door can remain open), where possible
  • A long-sleeved gown and gloves must be worn by everyone who cares for you
  • A sign will be placed on your door to remind others who enter your room about the special precautions
  • The room and the equipment used in the room will be cleaned and disinfected regularly
  • Everyone who leaves your room must clean their hands well
  • You must clean your hands before you leave your room

Can I have visitors?

Your family and visitors may visit. They should not assist other patients with their personal care as this may cause the germ to spread. They will be required to wear a long-sleeved gown and gloves while they care for you. Before leaving your room, visitors must remove the gloves and gown, dispose of them in the garbage container located in your room and then they must clean their hands.

What about at home?

If you have MRSA at the time of discharge from hospital, the chance of spreading the germ to your family is small. Nonetheless, you should practice the following:

  • Everyone who might help you with your personal hygiene or with going to the toilet should wash their hands after contact with you.
  • Wash your hands before you make any food and before you eat. This practice should be followed by everyone in the household.
  • Wash your hands well after using the toilet. Make sure others that use the bathroom wash their hands well afterwards.
  • Clothing may be laundered in the same manner as the rest of the household laundry.
  • Increased house cleaning, particularly high-touch areas and washrooms, is highly advised.
  • Always tell your physician, paramedics, nurses or other care providers that you have MRSA. This helps prevent spread to others.

SOURCE: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care