Staphylococcus aureus (Staph)
Staph is a germ found on the skin or in the nose. It may live on the skin without causing problems. Sometimes staph can cause infections.
- Staph may cause infections after surgery.
- This happens when the staph germ from patient's skin or the hospital surroundings enters the surgery wound.
Some types of staph are hard to kill with antibiotics. This type of staph germ is called M-R-S-A or "mersa."
People at risk for getting a staph infection are:
- Patients in the hospital
- People with open wounds or sores on their skin
Getting tested for staph
Before your surgery, you will be tested to see if you have staph. This will be done by wiping a cotton swab inside your nose.
If you test negative:
- You do not have staph.
- Shower with antibacterial soap (CHG-chlorhexidine) the night before your surgery
If you test positive:
- You will get a call saying you are positive for staph.
- You will be able to see your test results in MyChart.
- Use antibacterial ointment inside your nose. Your doctor will order mupirocin two percent ointment to be picked up at your pharmacy.
- Use antibacterial soap to clean your skin.
- Use the ointment and soap each day for five days before your surgery.
- Research shows this may lower you risk of infection after surgery.
When you are in the hospital
- Wash your hands when using the bathroom, before eating, and before leaving your room
- Do not touch any wounds or tubes sticking out of your body
- Your guests should wash their hands each time they enter and leave your room.