What are the Signs of MRSA in a Wound?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 23 October 2016
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The signs of MRSA in a wound are principally the same as the signs of most other staph infections. MRSA is the acronym for methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus, dangerous and potentially lethal bacteria. The big difference is that MRSA infections, which are staph infections, can be resistant to certain antibiotics and require different, more specialized antibiotic treatment. Most people, especially medical laypeople, won’t be able to diagnose MRSA on sight, but any wound infection is potentially serious, and the signs of wound infection should be reported to a physician or other medical personnel right away.

In looking for the signs of MRSA in a wound, essentially what people look for are evidence of things like pus, which may ooze from the wound or be collected in what appears to be a pimple. Some MRSA infections may look like a spider bite that is located in the center of a wound, or the spider bite appearance could be present alone without any type of wound injury. Infected wounds are frequently painful, and they may be surrounded by red streaks.


To the touch, signs of MRSA in a wound may be obvious if the general area around the wound feels warm or hot. The whole injury may look swollen, and the expression “angry” is often used to describe it. Another potential sign that an infection is present is if the wound is not healing on schedule. If it continually breaks open and bleeds or isn’t getting smaller as the days pass, this might be indicative of infection.

Sometimes the signs of MRSA in a wound are discovered in other physiological symptoms. People might have fever, cough, weakness, chills or other flulike symptoms like aching muscles or headache. These can indicate that the staph infection is becoming systemic, which is very dangerous. Combined with the physical signs of MRSA in a wound, any indication of blood infection or sepsis is medically urgent.

There a few things to do if a person thinks he has discovered the signs of MRSA in wound. The first is to cover the wound carefully, because MRSA is very contagious. Second, getting medical help right away is important. Doctors will test the wound for types of bacteria by possibly culturing it, and also performing things like blood tests. If MRSA is suspected, special antibiotics are used to which this type of staph has little resistance.

People will need to be careful if they have MRSA in a wound. They need to make sure they wash their hands immediately after any contact with the wound and keep it covered until it is fully healed. Doctors will probably follow up several times with the patient to make certain antibiotics are working effectively.


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