MRSA stands for meticillin resistant staphylococcus aureus.
Staphylococcus aureus is a common type of bacteria – about one in three of us carry it on our skin and in our noses without it doing any harm.
However, it can cause infections if it enters the body through wounds or tubes placed in the body.
Meticillin is an antibiotic – a type of penicillin. Meticillin resistant means that meticillin cannot kill the bacteria and another antibiotic will need to be used. If meticillin cannot be used to treat staphylococcus aureus, it is called MRSA.
Year on year, we have made massive reductions to our rates of MRSA and have achieved our targets for the last three years. To assist us in this, and in line with the trust’s MRSA policy, all elective and emergency admissions (with some exceptions) are screened for MRSA. The overall aim is to reduce the risk of infection from MRSA through screening patients identified as ‘at risk’ from MRSA colonisation (this is where the bacteria is present on the skin but is not causing an infection)
If identified, we move patients with MRSA to a separate room to prevent it spreading. Staff caring for these patients will wear gloves and a disposable apron, as well as following our strict hand washing procedures.