The health and well being of our students is important to the Henrietta
Independent School District. The recent media information related to
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacterium infection
has prompted many questions. This information is being provided to help
prevent the occurrence of any possible infection including Community
Acquired MRSA bacterium infection. Preventative actions are also being
taken by HISD to support you in this effort.
Information on Staphylococcal Infections School Athletic
Departments: Instructions for the Athlete
This information is provided to assist you in the control and prevention
of staphylococcal (commonly called staph) infections. These infections
usually are easy to treat with inexpensive, well-tolerated antibiotics.
However, some staph bacteria have developed resistance; that is, the
antibiotics can no longer kill the bacteria. Although
antibiotic-resistant infections are serious, the
following measures are effective against many other infectious diseases.
WHAT IS A STAPHYLOCOCCAL INFECTION?
Staphylococcus aureus commonly causes boils as well as more
serious conditions such as pneumonia or bloodstream infections.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
twenty to thirty-five percent of adults and children in the United
States are “colonized” with staph—the bacteria are present but do not
cause illness. Staphylococcus aureus colonization
usually occurs in the armpit, groin, genital area, and, most frequently,
the inside of the nose. Most infections occur when the staph bacteria
enter through a break in the skin (cut or scrape) or when broken skin
touches inanimate objects (such as clothing, bed linens, or furniture)
soiled with draining wounds. Your hands must be clean before you touch
your eyes, nose, mouth, or any
cuts or scrapes on the skin. The bacterium is not carried through the
air and is not found in dirt or mud. Methicillin resistant
Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) - A MRSA (often pronounced mer-sa)
infection, unlike a common Staphylococcus aureus infection, cannot be
treated with methicillin-related antibiotics (such as penicillin). The
treatment may be longer, expensive, more complicated, and infections can
reappear frequently. At first, MRSA was limited to hospitals and
care facilities, such as nursing homes. In the past few years, some
reports of MRSA not associated with the medical setting have been
confirmed. MRSA outbreaks associated with sports teams have been
reported since 2002. These outbreaks have included wrestling,
volleyball, and most frequently, football teams.
STRATEGIES TO PREVENT STAPHYLOCOCCAL INFECTIONS
HAND WASHING IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT BEHAVIOR IN PREVENTING INFECTIOUS DISEASE.
The proper way to wash your hands
1. Use warm water
2. Wet your hands and wrists
3. Using a bar or liquid soap
4. Work soap into a lather and wash between fingers, up to wrists, and under fingernails for at least 15
5. Dry, using a clean cloth towel or paper towel
6. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers to wash hands immediately if they
come in contact with any body fluid at the playing field or other places
where hand-washing facilities are not available
Wash your hands as described above:
· After sneezing, blowing, or touching your nose
· Before and after close contact or using the toilet
· Before leaving the athletic area
· Keep your hands away from your nose and groin
· Do not share towels, soap, lotion or other personal care items, even on the sidelines at games
· Shower with soap and water as soon as possible after direct contact sports
· Dry using a clean, dry towel
· Use a moisturizing lotion to prevent dry, cracked skin.
· Prewash or rinse with plain water items that have been grossly contaminated with body fluids.
· Wash your towels, uniforms, scrimmage shirts, and any other laundry in hot water and ordinary detergent and dry
on the hottest possible cycle
· Inform your parents of these precautions if laundry is sent home
· More specific directions may be provided by your athletic trainer or coach
HOW TO CARE FOR DRAINING WOUNDS
MRSA may be more difficult to treat. However, treatment is
usually successful after prompt, appropriate evaluation by a doctor or
clinic and when the correct antibiotic(s) (if indicated) is prescribed.
Other types of treatments may be indicated.
WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN: A physician or advanced
practitioner should examine the wound. A culture and susceptibility test
should be performed to determine what bacteria you have and what
antibiotic would be the most effective with the fewest side effects. If
the practitioner determines you do not have a bacterial infection, you
will not receive an antibiotic. Antibiotics are not effective against
· Take all medication even after the infection seems to have healed
· If a topical ointment is prescribed, apply as directed
· Follow all other directions the physician/practitioner gives you
· Inform the physician/practitioner if you are not responding to treatment
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF WOUNDS AT HOME:
· Avoid direct contact with others until the wound is no longer draining and you have been instructed by your
physician to resume your usual activities. If taking antibiotics, see
your doctor if the wound has a lot of pus and is not yet draining.
Excess pus will not let the antibiotic reach the wound to heal it.
· Wash your hands frequently, especially before and after changing band-aids, bandages, or wound dressings
· Keep the wound covered. The dressing must be changed at least twice a day; or, more frequently, if drainage is apparent
· All disposable materials that come into contact with the wound
(including dressings or bandages) need to be placed in a separate
plastic bag and closed before being disposed of in the household trash.
Wash your hands after removing and disposing of the soiled dressing
· Use isopropyl alcohol (available at pharmacies or grocery stores) to
disinfect reusable materials, such as scissors or tweezers after each
· All items that come in contact with the wound must be disinfected with
a fresh (prepared daily) mix of one tablespoon of household bleach to
one quart of water or a phenol-containing product such as Lysol® or
Pine-sol®. Use a phenol-containing spray to disinfect any cloth or
upholstered surface. Other commercially available products may be
· Have a designated chair or area for sitting. It should have a hard
surface or an easily cleaned plastic or similar cover for easy
disinfection. No one else should sit there until the wound has healed
· Utensils and dishes should be washed in the usual manner with soap and hot water or using a standard home dishwasher
· Carry laundry away from the body in a plastic or other lined bag that will not allow wet articles to drain through
· Handle and launder all clothing, towels, and linens that come in
contact with the wound separately from those of other members of the
household. Use a separate hamper
· Articles that come in contact with the wound should be washed in hot water with the usual detergent
· Dry clothes thoroughly using the hottest setting
· Towels and linens should be changed daily
· Do not share ointments or antibiotics
· Follow any instructions that your athletic trainer, coach, or
school nurse give you regarding direct contact with other persons at
· Carry and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available
· Wash hands immediately after contact with the wound
· Do not take antibiotics to prevent an infection
ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION When in doubt of the correct procedure
to follow, contact your healthcare provider, your local or regional
health department, or the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Additional information on bacteria,
antibiotics and antibiotic resistant organisms, disinfection, wound
healing, and other treatment for infections can be found in your local
library or the World Wide Web: Centers for Disease Control and
http://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/community/ Other sources www.ahrq.gov