MRSA is a type of bacterial infection that is resistant to a number of widely used antibiotics. This means it can be more difficult to treat than other bacterial infections. The full name of MRSA is Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. You may have heard it called a superbug. MRSA can and does live harmlessly on the skin of some people in the general public.
In hospital it is monitored closely as it can cause infections in wounds and the blood.
Every case of an MRSA infection in a patient's blood is reported to Public Health England, thoroughly investigated and an analysis is completed so any improvements in care can be implemented.
We screen all elective and emergency patients who are admitted to the Trust for MRSA. An MRSA screen is carried out using a swab which is inserted at the entrance of your nostrils—your groin area is also screened using a separate swab.
If you have a positive result from an MRSA screen it does not mean you are infected—just that MRSA lives on your skin. You may be given a special wash for your skin and ointment for your nose to remove the bacteria from your skin. This will normally be recommended by the Infection Prevention and Control Team or the clinical team responsible for your care.