MRSA Staph Infection Symptoms

Identifying MRSA Staph Infection Symptoms, Can Mean the Difference between Life & Death

More people die from MRSA infections in the United States than from AIDS. That’s why it is critical that you recognize and respond immediately to MRSA staph infection symptoms. Waiting to get medical help gives the bacteria the opportunity to travel stealthily through the blood stream and cause a catastrophic internal infection that can kill you.

Janie is an emergency-room registration clerk who is exposed to blood and other bodily fluids every day in the hospital where she works. She is thoroughly familiar with the safety practices that protect employees and patients from deadly bacteria, like hand washing and protective clothing, and she follows safety protocol faithfully. One careless mistake away from the hospital, however, nearly cost Janie her life.

Monday. It was already 4:30. Tracie had soccer practice at 5; Timmy had karate at 5:30; she had to pick up Racer from the vet no later than 6. She had to be at work by 7, and Gabe was out of town, so she was doing double duty as Mom and Dad this week in addition to her full-time, hectic job in Mercy General’s ER. Somehow, she had to squeeze in a trip to the grocery store because there was absolutely no food at home and she wouldn’t finish her shift until 5 AM.

At 5:30, while both kids were still at their respective after-school activities, she decided to dash to the grocery store, which, thankfully, was right next door to the vet. She grabbed a cart and flew through the aisles grabbing what she needed for dinner, which the babysitter would have to prepare. She had four minutes to unload the kids, dog, and groceries and give the babysitter some quick instructions before jumping back in the car and driving to work.

On her way to work, she noticed that her right hand felt sore against the steering wheel. A paper cut. She suddenly remembered the “ouch!” moment yesterday morning when she was grabbing a patient’s discharge papers from the copy machine. She washed her hands thoroughly as soon as she got to work.

Wednesday. The paper cut was bothering her again while Janie drove to work. A quick glance told her that it looked infected. As soon as she got to work, she put an antiseptic on it and, in the hectic environment of the emergency room that night, she forgot all about it.

Friday. Janie felt unusually tired, too exhausted to notice that she had a low-grade fever and that her annoying paper cut was now filling with pus. She went home and straight to bed. When she awoke in the early afternoon, she was sweating profusely and had a headache. She was just run down, she reasoned, from the demanding schedule of the past week. When she opened the medicine cabinet to get the Tylenol, she noticed that her paper cut was draining fluid and the tissue surrounding it was quite red and swollen. But her thoughts quickly turned to the day’s demanding to-do list, and she was already running late.

When Janie got to work, the charge nurse noticed Janie’s hand and gasped. “Janie, what the hell is this?” she asked, dumbfounded. With her gloved hands, she grabbed Janie’s injured hand and peered at it. “This looks like a staph infection! And you’re in here with patients who have open wounds? Seriously?”

“It’s just a stupid paper cut,” Janie replied.

The charge nurse stared at her in disbelief!

“You work in an emergency room! You should recognize MRSA staph infection symptoms immediately!” she said.

She then grabbed Janie by the shoulders and led her down a short hall.

“Get in here right now,” the charge nurse said, throwing open a door labeled “Trauma 2.”

“What?” Janie asked, surprised.

“What do you mean ‘What’ ? Look at your hand!” the charge nurse cried.

“It’s nothing, honestly.”

“This is not a request, Janie. It’s an order. Get in here now. I mean it. I’ve already paged Dr. Reynolds, and he’s on his way down.”

Advanced Bio Treatment: Infectious Disease Decontamination Services

Even before the labs came back confirming that Janie had MRSA, She was admitted to Mercy General and treated for her MRSA staph infection symptoms. But Janie didn’t respond to the antibiotics, and the infection spread quickly to her entire arm, which was now swollen to double its size and was blood red. Between her wrist and elbow was a small, oozing hole, and the flesh around it was deteriorating and full of pus.

Worse, because the antibiotic was not killing the MRSA bacteria, the bacteria had strengthened and entered Janie’s blood stream, and she now had pneumonia and her kidneys began to fail. She was transferred to the ICU, where she stayed for two weeks.

After two grocery-store employees and several customers presented with MRSA staph infection symptoms and subsequently tested positive for MRSA, Janie’s infection was traced back to the grocery store where she had shopped the Monday before she was admitted to the hospital. One employee later died from complications. Janie and the other victims were lucky. They survived.

Janie habitually cleaned grocery carts with disinfectant wipes before using the carts and then sanitized her hands after leaving the store, but not this time. In her frenzied rush, she had overlooked these important details, and the MRSA bacteria most likely entered her body through the minor paper cut. Later, MRSA bacteria was found on several of the grocery-store cart handles and in several other areas of the store, which was closed while Advanced Bio Treatment decontaminated the entire site.

Identify MRSA Staph Infection Symptoms

  • Red bumps that are swollen and painful. They may look like insect bites, pimples, or a rash.
  • Skin lesions are full of pus or other fluid that may be draining.
  • Wounds are warm to the touch.
  • Fever may be present.

Any time a skin lesion appears infected or is accompanied by a fever, you should seek medical help immediately. Waiting can mean the difference between life and death. Advanced Bio Treatment is here for you 24 hours every day of the year. Should you need our infectious disease decontamination services, please call us at 800-295-1684.


Ted Pelot Owner & President of Crime Scene Cleanup Company - Advanced Bio-Treatment