Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Facts

West Park Healthcare Centre takes your care and safety very seriously, and we are committed to transparency. On a quarterly basis we report our Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infection rates here on our website.

If you have any questions about the information below or about our hospital’s infection prevention and control program, please contact West Park Healthcare Centre's Infection Control via e-mail or by phone at 416-243-3600 ext. 2718.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia rates West Park Healthcare Centre posts its infection rates online on a quarterly basis. On this website, you can find information about hospital-acquired infection rates for methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremias.

What is a bacteremia?

Bacteremia is the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream and is referred as a bloodstream infection.

What is a case of MRSA bacteremia?

A case is a patient identified with laboratory confirmed bloodstream infection with MRSA.

What is MRSA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a germ that lives on the skin and mucous membranes of healthy people and causes no harm (colonization). Occasionally S. aureus can cause an infection. When Staphylococcus aureus develops resistance to certain antibiotics, it is called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.

How is MRSA diagnosed?

All patients are tested for MRSA on admission. If a patient shows signs and symptoms of an unexplained infection then additional testing will take place.

What are the risk factors for acquiring MRSA?

MRSA infection usually develops in hospitalized clients/patients/residents that are elderly or very sick (weakened immune systems). Other factors that increase the risk for acquiring MRSA infection include:

  • Being colonized with MRSA
  • Previous hospitalization or transfer between health care facilities
  • Presence of an indwelling device (e.g. catheter)
  • Recent hospitalization in healthcare facilities outside of Canada

How does MRSA spread?

MRSA is spread from one person to another by contact, often on the hands of caregivers. MRSA can be present on the caregiver's hands either from touching contaminated material excreted by the infected person or from touching articles contaminated by the skin of a person with MRSA, such as towels, sheets and wound dressings. MRSA can live on hands and can survive for weeks on inanimate objects in the environment such as door handles, bedrails, patient charts, pagers and stethoscopes.

How is MRSA treated?

Treatment depends on if you are colonized or infected and the place the organism is found. People that are colonized (the organism is living at a site but does not cause disease) will be treated with an antibiotic cream and bath. For more severe disease, antibiotics are required.

What precautions are used to prevent the appearance of MRSA at West Park?

Performing hand hygiene frequently is the best defense against the spread of infection. West Park has hand sanitizers located throughout the Centre, at main entrances, and in clinical units as well as most patient rooms include wash stations at their entrances. West Park emphasizes the highest standard of cleanliness, using trained professional cleaning staff to maintain a clean and safe environment. West Park monitors patient symptoms daily and follows strict infection control guidelines when someone is suspected or confirmed with having MRSA.

How does West Park Healthcare Centre control the spread of MRSA?

At West Park any person with MRSA will be placed on special isolation precautions until they are free of MRSA for three weeks. Their activities outside the room will be restricted. All health care staff who enters the room will wear a gown and gloves. Everyone MUST clean their hands when leaving the room. Special cleaning procedures are put in place in the affected patient's room to ensure that all frequently touched surfaces and the bathroom are thoroughly cleaned.

Does West Park Healthcare Centre track MRSA cases?

All cases of MRSA are identified early and the Infection Prevention and Control Service (IPAC) are informed. IPAC then tracks all patients with MRSA along with other infections.

To view West Park's infection rates, click here.

For more information about West Park's infection prevention and control initiatives, contact West Park Healthcare Centre's Infection Control via e-mail or by phone at 416-243-3600 ext. 2718.