Vancomycin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infection

What is vancomycin resistant staphylococcus aureus infection?

A vancomycin resistant staphylococcus aureus (VRSA) infection is caused by bacteria. These bacteria are resistant to the antibiotic medicine vancomycin. The infection can spread easily from person to person.

What increases my risk for a VRSA 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

  • Not washing your hands properly

What are the signs and symptoms of a VRSA infection?

Your signs and symptoms depend on where your infection is located. You may have any of the following:

  • Red, warm skin around a wound

  • Soreness, swelling, and drainage from a wound

  • Fever, chills, and body aches

  • Weakness

  • Cough

How is a VRSA infection diagnosed?

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

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

How is a VRSA infection treated?

Antibiotics help kill the bacteria that caused your VRSA infection.

How do I prevent the spread of VRSA?

  • 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 VRSA bacteria.

  • Wash contaminated laundry with hot water and soap in the washing machine. Dry them in a clothes dryer on the hot setting.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • You have a fever.

  • Your symptoms do not improve or are getting worse.

  • You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.

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

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

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?

  • You have sudden trouble breathing.

  • You have a fast heartbeat or chest pain.

  • You feel so dizzy that you have trouble standing up.

  • Your lips and fingernails are turning blue in color.

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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