Staph Infections

trianglejohnNovember 12, 2007

I'm a bit confused about Staph.

Some of you may remember my previous posts (year or two ago) where I talked about my father, who fell and broke his neck, ended up in the hospital where he got a staph infection. He eventually got just about every infection you can get. He struggled with this for almost two years and finally passed away this past summer.

I thought I understood most of what he went through since I was there at his bedside for most of it. But now I hear all this new stuff about Staph and it makes me wonder what really happened in his body.

So, in a nutshell - he fell and broke a bunch of bones but none of that injury involved broken skin. He got a small cut on his forehead but it never appeared infected and it healed up quickly. He did not have any sort of surgery for the broken bones. Everything about the multiple broken bones healed on schedule (3 months in a brace). But sometime in the early weeks of his hospitalization he ended up with a staph infection which very quickly overwhelmed his body. While battling the staph he also ended up with pseudomonas, pneumonia, and whatever the bad diarhea infection is you get in hospitals (c-dis???). He suffered through sepsis or blood poisoning a few times and had his kidneys fail a few times. They could get him to rally but with each rally he was always a little bit worse then he was before.

I always thought he CAUGHT the staph germs in the hospital. Not on purpose but more by accident. Now I read about staph being everywhere and I'm wondering if he had the staph living in and on him before he ever went to the hospital and in a weakened state it overtook him.

No one ever referred to his problem as "drug resistant" staph. They mostly worried about the kidney damage caused by the Gentomyacin for the pseudomonas infection.

Do we all carry staph? Could one of us family members have brought it into the room when we visited him? no one made us wash our hands in the beginning. None of this has anything to do with a lawsuit (whenever I talk about this, someone always makes legal comments). Dad loved his hospital staff and forbid any sort of legal action. We got to know the whole team very well in the two years he was in and out of the hospital. None of them would intentionally do anything to harm him - they loved him. And I think they would have warned us if we could have been the point of transmission for the staph. Sometimes I wish I could win the lottery and hire someone to go over dad's medical charts with me and explain every step of his progress. Not that it would change anything. Any advice?

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I think that we all do carry some sort of staph bacteria on our skins. We get immune to our own kind unless we get into a weakened state. That little cut on your father's forehead may have been enough to allow it to get into his blood stream.

Somewhere I read that babies receive their first "innoculation" of the family's staph strain from their mother's skin immediatly after birth. Those that are taken right to the nursery will pick up the strain from a nurse there.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 8:06AM
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The last data that I am aware of is that 30% of hospital employees carry staph. (There are different kinds of staph- community acquired, and hospital acquired) They are carriers- their bodies are able to keep the bacteria at a low level- it just 'accepts' it. Because there is so much staph in hospitals, it can be cultured from water faucets, drinking fountains. It can be passed from one person to a patient by poor handwashing- or lack of handwashing.It can be on surgical equipment that has not been cleaned correctly. It can be on a stethoscope, that a nurse/doc just used on a sick patient who has staph. It can be passed to a patient when putting in an IV, if the skin is not cleaned properly, and the nurse didn't wash correctly. Staph and strep are the two bacteria that are dreaded. Vancomycin IV, has been the drug of choice- it has been the last resort drug, but now that bacteria/viruses are becoming more resistant to drugs, it will appear more and more often. And, as you found out, it is often deadly. This is one reason you want to get a patient out of a hospital as soon as realistic. When you get a disease/illness/infection in a hospital it is called 'nosocomial'. You might find info on the CDC website.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 12:08AM
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About ten years ago the only way I was able to get rid of a staph infection was with natural remedies prescribed by a homeopathic doctor. The natural remedies also got rid of eight types of strep.
Before that I went from medical doctor to medical doctor begging for some relief but none of those doctors offered any help. The medical profession is a messed up system. IMHO. After that I dropped my health insurance since they were only catering to the doctors and not to the patient.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 10:37PM
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