Latex Exam Gloves and MRSA
Have you visited a hospital lately and noticed all the signs reminding staff to fight MRSA with hand washing and glove-changing between patients?
MRSA stands for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria group that is resistant to an array of common antibiotics.
The spread of MRSA infection in hospitals is particularly problematic with their populations’
already weakened immune systems, the presence of wounds and the wide scope of antibiotics already in use which give the bacteria opportunity to evolve with further resistances.
Generally MRSA infection, even though difficult to treat, can be managed with certain strains of antibiotics to which it has not yet developed a resistance.
To impede MRSA’s spread, patients are encouraged to complete their full course of antibiotics even after considering themselves cured.
The over-prescription of antibiotics is discouraged, educating patients to understand that a viral infection such as a cold does not require and will not respond to antibiotics.
Hand washing between patients is considered a first line of defense in any medical setting.
As a patient and consumer, it is entirely appropriate to ask medical staff to wash their hands and put on new gloves in front of you before conducting an exam.
Any conscientious practitioner will do so before you even have a chance to ask.
Although the staff may already be wearing latex gloves, this only serves as a visual comfort to the patient if proper hand washing and new gloves were not part of their pre-exam routine.
So be proactive in fighting MRSA and taking care of your own health.
Do not insist on antibiotics when they are not necessary, complete the full course of any antibiotic prescription you are given and watch for fastidious hand washing and fresh latex or nitrile exam gloves before a medical exam.