MSSA (Meticillin sensitive Staphylococcus aureus) is one of the common bacteria found in the nose and skin of about a third of the population. It normally lives harmlessly on the body, but as with all bacteria, MSSA has the ability to cause illness in a relatively small group of patients when they are hospitalised. These illnesses are treated with conventional antibiotic therapy.
Strategies used to minimise MSSA infections include the used of standard (universal) precautions including hand hygiene. Using full aseptic technique when invasive procedures are undertaken are important to prevent or minimise the introduction of bacteria into the vulnerable site. Patients should avoid touching wounds or dressing and whenever possible shower or bath frequently.
To further reduce infections, all hospitals have been asked to publisise the number of MSSA blood stream infections to facilitate and imitate the success seen in the reductions of MRSA blood streams infections that have been seen nationally and at BSUH.