As of April 1, 2019, there are no outbreaks of MRSA bacteremia at Bruyère.
At Bruyère, we take our patient care and safety very seriously, and we are committed to transparency in all matters including MRSA. On a quarterly basis, we report Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (MRSA bacteremia) rates at our two hospitals (Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital and Saint-Vincent Hospital) on our web site. The analysis of our MRSA bacteremia rates over time will provide us with valuable information that we will use to improve quality of care in our organization.
Rates of MRSA bacteraemia are one of a number of patient safety indicators that all Ontario hospitals publicly report. These indicators are also posted on the Health Quality Ontario website.
Public reporting of MRSA bacteraemia rates is not intended to serve as a measure to compare hospitals against each other. First of all, it is important to remember that rates at most hospitals will vary from month to month. Furthermore, it is important to take into account the specialty care within the various facilities, implying different risk factors. Thus, when considering hospital performance, it is essential that MRSA bacteraemia rates be viewed in the context of other performance indicators.
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Q: What is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)?
A: Staphylococcus aureus is a germ that lives on the skin and mucous membranes of healthy people. Occasionally, Staphylococcus aureus can cause an infection. When Staphylococcus aureus develops resistance to certain antibiotics, it is called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.
Q: What are healthcare-associated infections?
A: Sometimes when patients are admitted to the hospital, they can get infections. These are called healthcare-associated infections. This may mean that certain symptoms began 72 hours after admission to the hospital; or that the infection was present at the time of admission, but was related to a previous admission to that hospital within the last four weeks.
Q: What is bacteremia?
A: Bacteremia is the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream and is referred to as a bloodstream infection. Accompanying symptoms could include a rise or a drop in body temperature, change in mental or functional status, and a change in blood pressure.
Q: What is a case of MRSA bacteremia?
A: A case is a patient who is identified with laboratory confirmed bloodstream infection with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Q: What are the Risk factors for MRSA infection?
A: MRSA infection usually develops in hospitalized patients who are elderly or very sick (with a weakened immune system). Other factors that increase the risk for acquiring MRSA infection include:
- MRSA is present on the skin or in a body site without causing illness (colonization)
- Recent hospitalization in a health care facility outside of Canada
- Previous hospitalization or transfer between health care facilities
- Presence of an indwelling device (e.g., intravascular catheter)
Q: How is a MRSA bacteremia treated?
A: Treatment with specific antibiotics is required.
Q: How is MRSA spread?
A: MRSA is spread from one person to another by contact, usually on the hands of caregivers. MRSA can be present on the caregiver's hands either from touching contaminated material excreted by the infected person or from touching articles contaminated by the skin of a person with MRSA, such as wound dressings.
MRSA can live on hands and objects in the environment. The spread of MRSA can occur due to inadequate hand hygiene and environmental cleaning. As such, control is achieved through consistent hand hygiene and thorough cleaning of the patient environment.
Q: How does Bruyère control the spread of MRSA in the hospital?
A: In order to prevent the spread of MRSA, we engage our housekeeping team to ensure that they are following the best practices for cleaning in situations where patients are identified with MRSA. As well, we are strongly encouraging our staff to enhance hand hygiene practices. We ensure that patients who are suspected or proven to have MRSA are placed on precautions. Once these prevention measures are implemented for a patient with MRSA, there is a much lower risk of transmission.
Good hand hygiene, i.e. washing hands thoroughly and often, is the single-most effective way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases like MRSA. As a patient or resident you need to clean your hands:
- After using the bathroom
- After blowing your nose
- Before eating and drinking
- Before and after you have contact with dressing or wounds
- When your hands are visibly soiled
- Before you leave your room
Remind all staff and visitors to practice good hand hygiene before and after they take care of you. Ask your nurse or doctor to demonstrate proper hand hygiene [15 seconds of soap and running water OR waterless alcohol hand rub (such as Purell) until hands are dry].
Q: What precautions are used to prevent the spread of MRSA?
A: If you are in the hospital and have MRSA you will be placed on precautions, which include:
- A single room, or spatial separation within a semi-private room (the door remains open)
- Persons who provide direct care must wear a long sleeve gown and gloves
- A sign will be placed at the entrance to your room to remind others about the special precautions
- The room and the equipment used in the room will be cleaned and disinfected regularly
- Upon leaving your room, everyone must clean their hands well
- You must clean your hands well before you leave your room
Q: What is Bruyère doing to improve patient safety?
A: We have a patient safety program in the hospital to make sure that all practices are at the highest level possible to keep you safe. This includes:
- Ensuring that our housekeeping practices are in line with the best practices in healthcare
- Developing a program for excellence in hand hygiene
- Conducting audits on various practices to verify that patient care is as safe as possible