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May 13, 2011

Bedbugs, Drug Resistant MRSA and Third Degree Burns

Infection is the most common complication of burns and is the major cause of death in burn victims. Methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become a frequent cause of hospital acquired infection (nosocomial infection). Burn patients specially second and third degree burns are more susceptible to infection due to the disruption of the skin which is the first line of defence against infection.
Researchers found that bedbugs can harbor MRSA and maybe it can spread the bacteria (see the link). According to the Entomology Department at Purdue University, bedbugs cause many diseases and at least 27 agents of human disease have been found in bedbugs, including viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and parasitic worms.

You shold contact your doctor immediatly when you observe any of the signs and/or symptoms of infection which may include:

  • Increased redness in or around the wound.
  • Increased swelling in or around the wound.
  • Increased or persistent pain.
  • Increased drainage from the wound.
  • Change in the color of the drainage (green discharge or pus).
  • Foul smell from the wound.
  • Heavy bleeding soaking the bandage.
  • Chills or fever (usually greater than 101.5 degrees F).
  • Persistent vomiting or diarrhea.
Burn wound infection prevention:
  • Keep the burned area clean.
  • Look for any signs or symptoms of infection during dressing change.
  • Follow a strict sterile protocol during wound dressing change (see home wound care).
  • It's important in infants to observe any change in the appearance of wound or change in activity level (not playful, fails to hold eye contact, lethargic) children can't express what they feel. Contact the doctor immediately if you observe any sign or symptom of infection.
Topical antibiotic ointments may be prescribed as a prophylactic (preventive) measure in burned patients.

Infection delays wound healing, encourages scarring (as a result of collagen deposition in reaction to the infection) and may result in septicemia and organ failure (systemic infection).

This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice; it should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Call 911 for all medical emergencies.