Fall Tips from the Athletic Training Room

petri dishWhat is MRSA?

Staphylococcus aureus:

  • Otherwise known as staph.
  • Bacteria commonly found on the skin and in the nose of 25-35% of healthy people.
  • Usually does not cause illness or infections.
  • Instead the person is known as a staph carrier.

Illness or infections occur when:

  • Bacteria gets into the body through cuts, abrasions, wounds, or surgical incisions.
  • Infections can look like pimples, pustules, or boils.
  • Appearance of the infection can be red, swollen, and painful.
  • There can be an increase in skin temperature around the site of infections and a possibility of pus or other drainage coming from the infection.
  • Not properly referred or taken care of, a more serious infection can cause pneumonia, a bloodstream infection, surgical wound infections or infection of the bones and/or joints.
  • Be careful, some pustules or pimples can be confused with insect bites, a previous abrasion or a “common” infection.


  • Usually with antibiotics.
  • However in some cases, certain strands of staph especially MRSA are resistant to many antibiotics.
  • MRSA, otherwise known as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus, is a type of staph that is resistant to antibiotics called beta-lactams, which include methicillin, penicillin and amoxicillin.

Infections caused by MRSA:

  • Cause serious damage if not properly treated.
  • If the signs and symptoms above continue or get worse, getting to your primary care physician is of utmost importance.
  • Can only be identified through microbial testing, which occurs when the doctor takes a sample or specimen of the infection and submits it to a laboratory.
  • Testing the sample by using various antibiotics to see if the bacteria are resistant or sensitive to those antibiotics.
  • MRSA is treated with the use of one of the following drugs, vancomycin or teicoplanin. Both are administered by either infusion or injection.

Whom does MRSA affect?

  • Patients in the hospital.
  • Becoming more common in the community setting especially in health clubs, athletes and the physically active.
  • People with a deficiency in their immune system (low white cell count) or who are already ill can also be infected.

How is it Spread?

  • Close skin-skin contact.
  • Openings in the skin (cuts, abrasions, etc.).
  • Contaminated items or surfaces.
  • Crowded living conditions.
  • Poor hygiene.


  • Keep wounds covered with clean, dry bandage.
  • Clean hands after changing bandage.
  • Do Not share towels, clothing, or razors.
  • Keep barrier b/w skin and shared equipment.
  • Wiping surfaces of equipment before and after use.