I've been reading a lot about hospital aquired MRSA staph infections after learning from my insurance company nurse that the staph infection I had was MRSA - my surgeons never volunteered this info!
I think it would be helpful to all of us here to start a thread dedicated to this dangerous threat. If you ever developed a MRSA staph infection while being hospitalized, I'd love to hear from you!
I was infected with MRSA last March during my muscle-sparing free tram which took 7 hours. I was hospitalized after that for 2 weeks, was put on 3 different IV antibiotics, then sent home with Zyvox. Fortunately I recovered after a week on Zyvox - but I found out from a later cat scan that the staph ate away most of the right side of my abdominal muscles and now I'll need additional surgery to repair it with mesh. My PS (who did the free-tram) said he'd use Alloderm to repair it. Not trusting him - I went to another surgeon who specializes in abdominal hernia repairs and he said Alloderm would only get infected by the MRSA staph still in my body - he'd use something more resistant. So now I'm worried to ever have any surgery again........who knew that MRSA lies hidden inside your body waiting to attack again if your immune system is low?!
An interesting article online said that in November 2007 inmates at a prison in Bucks County, PA won a $1.2 million dollar lawsuit because they developed MRSA due to unsanitary conditions, - yet I think it's extremely difficult for anyone to sue a hospital for the same reason! Not that I'm looking for a malpractice lawyer - but it does occur to me sometimes, especially after finding out that another woman who used my PS (two days after my surgery) also developed MRSA at a different hospital. For this reason, I'm switching to a new plastic surgeon!
Here's some basic information about MRSA:
From the CDC:
From Nat'l Library of Medicine:
From the NY Times:
Finally - here's an article from the NY Times that I cut out and saved last year after my husband developed a staph infection from a kidney stent to help him pass a stone. I remember signing an online petition to NY State lawmakers to help force hospitals to publish their infection rates, but I don't know if any laws were changed.
For any of you who need surgery - PLEASE check that your your hospital provides hand sanitizers at the entrance of your room - and don't be shy about telling visitors, especially DOCTORS, to use it - AND to wear a gown and gloves if they examine you. It's hard enough dealing with BC - adding a MRSA infection on top of that is bordering on medical malpractice in my mind!
3/3/08 Right-side mastectomy with immediate muscle-sparing free tram; 3/9/08 Developed abdominal MRSA staph infection and hernia;Completed 4 months Navelbine and 1 year Herceptin; Arimidex - 3 more years! Diagnosed at age 53
2/5/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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