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Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus Infection

What is a vancomycin resistant enterococcus infection?

A vancomycin resistant enterococcus (VRE) infection is caused by bacteria. These bacteria are resistant to certain types of antibiotics. A VRE infection spreads easily from person to person.

What increases my risk for a VRE infection?

  • Surgery or a hospital stay

  • Certain long-term antibiotics

  • Medical tubes in your body, such as an IV or central line

  • A weak immune system

  • Age over 55

What are the signs and symptoms of a VRE infection?

  • Back pain or trouble urinating

  • Urinating often or pain when you urinate

  • Fever, chills, and body aches

  • Red, warm skin around a wound

  • Soreness, swelling, and drainage from a wound

How is a VRE infection diagnosed?

  • Blood tests will show the VRE bacteria and help healthcare providers plan which antibiotics are best for treatment.

  • A sample of your bowel movement, urine, or any wound may show VRE bacteria.

How is a VRE treated?

Antibiotics help kill the bacteria that caused your VRE infection.

How do I prevent the spread of VRE?

  • Wash your hands often. Use soap and water. Wash your hands after you use the bathroom, change diapers, or sneeze. Wash your hands before you prepare or eat food.

  • Keep your wound clean and covered with a bandage until it is healed, or as directed.

  • Do not share items , such as eating utensils, brushes, or keys, with others.

  • Clean surfaces well. Use germ-killing cleaner when you clean surfaces, such as counters, doorknobs, or sink faucets. Ask which cleaner is best to kill VRE bacteria.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • You have a fever.

  • You have muscle pain or weakness.

  • You have a wound that is red, swollen, or draining pus.

  • You are urinating more often than usual or have pain when you urinate.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?

  • Your throat is swelling and you are having trouble breathing.

  • You have new chest or back pain.

  • You have a headache with a stiff neck, and you feel weak or confused.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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