Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a common bacterium (germ/bug) that three in every ten of us carry naturally in their nose, skin and other areas of the body. MRSA stands for Meticillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which is a variant of this bacterium.
Bacteria carried naturally in this way is called colonisationand does not normally require treatment. However if you are coming into hospital, you may require a treatment called decolonization, which reduces the risk of this bacterium spreading. Please speak to your nursing staff if you need further information after admission.
Western Sussex Hospitals are compliant with Department of Health MRSA elective and emergency admissions screening policy, meaning we test all patients coming in to the Trust to check if they are carrying MRSA bacteria, so we can tailor their treatment accordingly.
How is MRSA spread?
MRSA can be spread via touch and from the environment.
The bug likes to get around through hitching lifts, most often on hands, which is why we ask all visitors and staff to wash their hands before entering the hospital or a ward, using the alcohol gel dispensers you will pass on your way in.
How can you help stop the spread of MRSA?
We need good standards of cleanliness and hygiene from everyone in the hospital – staff member, patient or visitor – to limit the spread of MRSA.
Alcohol hand rub is available outside every ward and bay, by each bed and at the main entrances of the hospital. This is for the use of all staff, patients and visitors.