August 2, 2013

fridays_crown

5 Royal Decrees of MRSA Prevention

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve all heard about the birth of England’s newest member of the royal family: George Alexander Louis, formally known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge and informally known as “Georgie”.

And even if you HAVE been living under a rock for the past 9 months and missed the initial baby bump rumor articles, the official pregnancy announcement, the royal gender and name speculation, and, of course, the “Royal Baby Watch”, don’t worry. There are timelines published to take you through the entire pregnancy, from the first rumors of a baby bump to the official name announcement.

Oh my goodness. That’s a whole lot of attention focused on a human being that’s not even 2 weeks old yet.

And don’t get me wrong, I love every second of it. But this royal baby craze did make me think, if little “Georgie” has this much control over our attention and priorities when he’s a newborn, where will he be when he’s an adult?

THAT got me thinking about what I would do if I were in his place, if I had the power to issue laws and command an entire nation. A lot of my royal decrees would probably have to do with things like mandatory afternoon naps and free ice cream from May-September, but I like to think I’d spend some time with infection prevention and HAIs (Healthcare-Acquired Infections) as well.

When it comes to infection prevention, one thing people don’t know is that there are steps THEY can take to lower their chances of contracting HAIs like the superbug MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus). It’s not just up to healthcare professionals. And if there was some way to make sure EVERYONE followed these steps (such a hypothetical royal decree…), we could really make a dent in the HAI rates.

So on that note, in honor of the birth of His Royal Highness, and with the help of the CDC website, I’ve issued 5 Royal Decrees of MRSA Prevention:

1. The Hygiene Decree

  • Thou shalt wash thy hands regularly in soap and water or an alcohol based hand rub
  • If thou regularly frequents an athletic facility, thou shalt shower immediately after participation as well as shower before use of a whirlpool

2. The Cuts & Scrapes Decree

  • Thou shalt keep thy cuts and scrapes clean and completely covered in order to prevent spreading  any of thine own diseases
  • Thou shalt have no contact whatsoever with another’s scrapes, wounds or bandages

3. The Sharing Decree

  • Contrary to thy mother’s teachings, thou shalt not share personal items such as razors or towels

4. The Laundry Decree

  • If thou art an athlete, thou shalt wash and dry uniforms following each use

5. The Communication Decree

  • Thou shalt report any possible infections to the proper authorities (doctor, coach, trainer…)
  • Thou shalt ask thy doctor or nurse to test for infection to ensure MRSA hath not colonized on thy skin

And I command that the decrees listed take effect within the fortnight!

Obviously, I’m not actually royalty (at least not that I know of), but I hope people keep these guidelines in the back of their mind. All of the decrees listed are very simple, it just takes a little effort to make them habit. And, in the case of HAI prevention, a little effort can go a long way.

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Filed under Daily Blog Posts, Gimme Five Friday, Healthcare Acquired Infections

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