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Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus

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Niagara Health takes your care and your safety very seriously, and we are committed to communicating details about our Infection Prevention and Control program.

See below for charts showing the MRSA infection rates at each of our inpatient hospital facilities. Each month, we will post these details. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has posted information regarding rates at all Ontario hospitals. Please read on for information about MRSA and how you can help prevent the spread of infection.

MRSA Colonization

Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Hospital Acquired Colonized Cases – Incident Rate

MRSA Hospital Aquired Colonized cases Incident Rate 

MRSA Bacteraemia Infection

Number of New Hospital Acquired MRSA Bacteraemia Infection cases:

Number of New Hospital Acquired MRSA Bacteraemia Infection cases


MRSA Bacteraemia Infection Incident Rate per 1,000 patient days:

MRSA Bacteraemia Infection Incident Rate per 1,000 patient days

Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Bacteraemia Infection – Hospital Acquired Incident Rate:

MRSA Bacteraemia Infection Hospital Acquired Incident Rate

What is MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus)?

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, or MRSA.

What is colonization?

The presence and growth of a micro-organism in or on a body with growth and multiplication but without tissue invasion or cellular injury. The patient will be asymptomatic.

What is bacteraemia?

Bacteraemia is the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream and is referred to as a bloodstream infection.

How is MRSA spread?

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 towels, sheets and wound dressings. MRSA can live on hands and objects in the environment.

What special precautions are required for MRSA in hospital?

Precautions include:

  • Single room accommodation (the door can remain open)
  • A long-sleeved gown and gloves must be worn by everyone who cares for you
  • A sign may 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

What about family/visitors to the hospital?

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

Good Hand Hygiene Practices

Remind all staff and visitors to practice good hand hygiene before and after they touch you. Ask your nurse or doctor to demonstrate proper hand hygiene techniques (15 seconds of soap and running water OR waterless alcohol hand rub until hands are dry).

You need to clean your hands:

  • After using the bathroom
  • After blowing your nose
  • Before eating and drinking
  • Before and after you touch your dressing or wounds
  • When your hands are visibly dirty (soiled)
  • Before you leave your room

What will happen at home?

If you have MRSA at the time of discharge from hospital, there is a small chance of spreading the germ to your family. We recommend you 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. If you share a bathroom, make sure others using that bathroom wash their hands well afterwards.
  • Clothing may be laundered in the same manner as the rest of the household laundry.
  • No special cleaning of furniture or items (e.g. dishes) in the home is required.
  • Always tell your physician, paramedics, nurses or other care providers that you have MRSA. This helps prevent spread to others.

For more information, please speak to your Health Care Provider.

Niagara Health