Loyola Medicine is proactive about taking care of your health. This begins the minute you step on campus. Any patient who is scheduled to be admitted to the hospital is first screened for the superbug MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
MRSA is a strain of bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics commonly used to treat staphylococcal infections. Most MRSA infections occur in hospitals and other healthcare settings, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Officials at the CDC estimate that 79,000 people get MRSA infections from healthcare facilities each year. Some of the infections can be life-threatening, especially those that occur in patients with surgical incisions or weakened immune systems.
Loyola has screened patients for MRSA since 2007, which has drastically cut down on infections. Each patient is screened with a simple test where a nurse uses a swab to collect dead cells in the nose. That swab is sent off for DNA analysis and test results return within two hours. Patients who are found to be carrying MRSA are quarantined and treated.
Concern about MRSA has been growing nationwide, especially after a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that the infections have become more widespread.