Hospital website carries MRSA info
A new website page about MRSA has been created for the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust in order to help members of the public and patients get reliable information on the bacterium.
The web page www.nnuh.nhs.uk/mrsa holds information on the Trust's own MRSA rates and the rates of other East Anglian hospitals. The website also has public information sheets prepared by infection control nurses and also the Health Protection Agency. The leaflets are available on the website in English, Portugese, Russian, Kurdish, Bengali and Chinese.
The website shows that on average, 61 patients a year have developed an MRSA bloodstream infection. The latest figures from the Health Protection Agency also show that the Norfolk and Norwich has the lowest MRSA rate in Norfolk and compares well with similar sized hospitals in the region.
How we compare with other East Anglian hospitals (April to September 2004)
|Peterborough Hospitals NHS Trust||General Acute||0.06|
Hinchingbrooke Healthcare NHS Trust
|Papworth Hospital NHS Trust||Single speciality||0.07|
|Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust||General Acute||0.18|
|Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust||General Acute||0.19|
|West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust||General Acute||
|King's Lynn & Wisbech Hospitals NHS Trust||General Acute||0.29|
|James Paget Healthcare NHS Trust||General Acute||0.32|
|Addenbrooke’s NHS Trust||Specialist||0.36|
The website outlines the measures staff, patients and visitors are expected to take to prevent spread of infection and also the pre-admission screening that is undertaken for high-risk elective patients who are due to come to our hospitals.
MRSA is a close relation of the Staphylococcus organisms that often live on people's skin. Staphylococcus carriage is not uncommon and nearly a third of the population in the UK carry it on their skin or in their nose.
MRSA is a close relation of this bacteria and is resistant to some antibiotics. Most people will be unaware they carry it but they can easily pass it on. That’s why we ask everyone visiting our hospitals to wash their hands thoroughly and to use the alcohol gels we provide.
These micro-organisms normally only cause a problem if they enter cuts or wounds. They can be a common cause of boils or minor skin infection. Most people found to have Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) will remain well. It will not cause them to be ill and does not cause problems for healthy people.
MRSA can be a problem in hospitals where there are patients with wounds and who may have a poor ability to fight infections. MRSA can be treated by some antibiotics but not others. It is not the case that MRSA cannot be treated.
MRSA will generally only become a serious problem when it occupies open wounds, particularly in those patients whose immune systems are already under strain either through disease, or general debilitation.
Dr Judith Richards, consultant microbiologist and director of Infection Control, said: “There are many myths and much misinformation about MRSA, and a lot of it serves only to frighten people unnecessarily about coming to hospitals. MRSA is a bacterium that has existed since the 1960s, mainly in the developed world, and it has emerged because of high levels of antibiotic use.
“It is not the case that MRSA cannot be treated; it can be with certain antibiotics. It is also the case that MRSA is widespread outside hospitals and is carried by a great many people in the community who will be unaware they are colonised and for whom it will pose no danger. It is for this reason that it's vital patients and visitors understand the importance of hand hygiene and our other infection control measures such as limiting visitors to two per patient and not sitting on patients' beds.”