Dr. Rosemary Leonard answers a question on MRSA in the company of Emma Howard.
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Emma Howard: Hello, we are answering questions on health and medical problems. I am joined by Doctor Rosemary Leonard, Hello. Dr. Rosemary Leonard: Hello. Emma Howard: Rosemary, we have got a question from an apprehensive mother has 7-year old son due to have an operation next week and with all the reports of MRSA and the papers she’s really getting herself quite worked up about him contacting the bug and she is now wanted to know what are the chances of this happening. Dr. Rosemary Leonard: Quite a lot of hospitals now screening all people before they go in for routine elective surgery, planned surgery and that increase children. It involves having a nasal swab taken because it may be he is carrying MRSA already and if he is carrying it already he will be more at risk of then getting an infection in a wound when he goes into the hospital. So in case if she wants to check she can always ask the doctors arrange it can be take a nasal swab to check if he is carrying it. And if he is, there is treatment he can be given. Otherwise when he actually goes into the hospital what she has to do is make sure that she observes all the hygiene measures, washing her hands carefully before she goes to see him, using the alcoholic hand drops and also just checking all the other visitors he has do the same thing. When it’s difficult in a children’s ward because a quiet often if they are in for few days they do play with one another but you would hope that at the hospital would isolate any child that had got the infection. Emma Howard: And remind us about this infection because it’s taking on a life of its own in terms of the fear factor we kind of all talking about MRSA but what is it? Take us back to the basics of it. Dr. Rosemary Leonard: What it is, it’s a type of a staph aureus which is a very common bug that lives on the skin that is resistant to several types of antibiotics including one called methicillin. So, it’s called Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus but are actually some antibiotics that can be used to treat it but they tend to be very powerful antibiotics which can cause side effects and what can happen is if you get MRSA and a wound it can be difficult for it to treat but generally with a child the child has a very good immune system and unless he has got an underlying severe illness, he would be unusual for an MRSA infection to really make him very old. The people who tend to see, come to MRSA or where it is much more of a problem of the elderly who have got other health problems. Emma Howard: A very good advice Rosemary. So she will be quite assured to hear that. Now if you have a similar problem, we hope we might have given you some help but remember it’s always best to go and see your own doctor for medical advice. Thanks for watching, we will be with more health questions and answers.