Risk Factors for Fatal MRSA
Getting infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can be deadly if you end up with a condition called bacteremia. Researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City found that key risk factors for fatal cases were increasing age, living in a nursing home residence, and having an organ impairment such as cirrhosis of the liver.
If you fall into any or all of those categories, you should be especially careful to ward off bugs by washing your hands, using alcohol-based hand sanitizers, putting antibiotic creams on cuts and burns, and keeping wounds covered except for periods of airing out when you won't be touching germy surfaces.
Lead author Mina Pastagia, MD of Rockefeller University and colleagues published their study in the online journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. They wrote, "Our findings can help clinicians estimate the risk that a patient with MRSA bacteremia will die. For example, an elderly patient with liver cirrhosis and MRSA bacteremia who lived in a nursing home before hospital admission would have an extremely poor prognosis. Conversely, an otherwise healthy patient with diabetes mellitus might have a better prognosis that could be improved even more by consultation with an infectious disease specialist."