Monday, July 14, 2014

5 Things you want to know about MRSA in Jujitsu, karate, gyms, etc.

5 Things you want to know about Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus.

1) Staph Aureus is all around us, on our skin, desktops, phones, etc.   MRSA is just a variant of this bacteria that is resistant to methicillin a form of beta-lactam antibiotic aka penicillin family.

2) MRSA starts out as a bump on the skin / boil, blister, etc.

3) Can go deeper through the skin to the fat, muscles and blood where it can be deadly

4) Only way to identify is through cultures taken at the doctor's office or hospital.  In fact, most patients in the high risk category such as immunocompromised or diabetics, that are admitted to hospitals nowadays are assumed MRSA infection until otherwise noted

5) There are newer oral antibiotics that are effectively treating MRSA, IV antibiotics is still the quickest way to get the antibiotics into your system for limb or life threatening situations.

5 ways to avoid or pre diagnose MRSA

1) Nasal Nares cultures:   taking a culture of the nasal passages can determine if the person is a carrier and if so a regimen if antibiotic application and bathing in selective solutions can help

2) Wash your hands frequently, and use hand sanitizers.

3) Make sure you wipe down and pre-wipe all equipment at the gyms

4) Jujitsu or karate uniforms must be clean at all times, jujitsu more so then karate. No badge of honor for sticky yellow uniform that is supposed to be white.  Use long rashguards to avoid skin abrasions.

5) Mats or other contact surfaces must be cleaned and disinfected with anti MRSA solutions.

When you have a skin rash, infection, make sure a culture is taken and empiric (broad spectrum)  antibiotics are started immediately, can be a matter of limb and life loss.

Remember Kevin Randleman's Staph infection? Vinny Magalhaes had to step out of Metamoris 3 lineup due to this infection.

Not to say, do not practice contact sports for I love Brazilian Jujitsu and Karate, you and the gym should take precautions against MRSA.   As a medical student and even as a resident back in late 1990's, MRSA was not as common.   How does this happen, where and when did this happen that MRSA is so common?

One big blame is the overuse of common antibiotics like penicillins, bacteria generations are way shorter then humans and through true Darwinian concepts, one bacteria forms resistance and thrives while others are killed.    The overuse of antibiotics is one major cause.    We actually need bacteria on our skin to keep a balance as well as bacteria in our gut for proper food digestion, not all bacterias are bad.    

Hospitals , nursing homes and jails are big source of community acquired MRSA due to both population density and antibiotic usage.

Dr. Kevin Lam

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