What Are the Signs of MRSA in Infants?

An infant infected with the MRSA bacteria may experience coughing and difficulty breathing.
Proper hand washing procedures will need to be employed by healthcare workers who are in contact with infants that are infected with MRSA.
The majority of MRSA infections originate in the hospital.
Lethargy and coughing are common signs of MRSA in infants.
In some cases, pediatric patients who have been hospitalized should be screened for MRSA.
Premature newborns in a hospital NICU are at an increased risk for MRSA.
An IV drip of vancomycin is a common treatment for MRSA for adults, children and infants..
Article Details
  • Written By: Amanda Piontek
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacteria that can cause infection of the skin and other parts of the body. It can be severe or deadly for those with compromised immune systems, like young children and babies, and it is resistant to many antibiotics currently used to treat bacteria. Signs of MRSA in infants include fever and a boil, wound, or skin infection that does not heal with normal treatment. MRSA can compromise nearly every system of the body, and an infant infected with the MRSA bacteria can present a multitude of symptoms common with any bacterial illness. General pain and lethargy, coughing, and difficulty breathing are all possible symptoms of MRSA in babies.

The first sign of MRSA in infants is often a pimple-like sore that resembles an insect bite and includes drainage or pus. Redness, pain, or tenderness often accompanies the sore or sores, and a fever might also be noted. Impetigo, a common skin disease in infants, can also be caused by the MRSA bacteria. The signs of impetigo include fluid filled blisters that most commonly present on the diaper area, buttocks, and face. When an infant or child possesses a skin infection, rash, or blemish that does not respond to treatment, the child's caregiver should consult a physician.

Ad

Like most other illness-causing bacteria, MRSA can also infect the blood or various body organs. MRSA inside the body is typically more dangerous than a skin infection, and an infant with an internal MRSA infection could be afflicted by a variety of symptoms. Lung infections, for example, are likely to result in pneumonia, a cough, and shortness of breath. Other general symptoms of MRSA in infants include fever, shaking, chills, lethargy, and pain. If the MRSA bacteria causes a sepsis, a blood infection, the infant might display abnormal heart rate and white blood cell count, rapid, shallow breathing, and decreased consciousness.

A large proportion of MRSA infections originate in the hospital. For this reason, it is important to consider the effects of MRSA on hospitalized babies. Seriously ill or premature babies are generally treated in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). If test results show that a child in the unit is colonized with MRSA bacteria, additional precautions must be taken in order to prevent an outbreak of MRSA in infants. Nurses, doctors, and possibly family members will be required to take additional MRSA precautions like wearing gowns and gloves when in contact with the infant, and proper hand washing procedures are paramount.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

anon330046
Post 3

My son had MRSA when he was six months old. He had no skin rashes and showed no signs of being sick. He had just completed his six month check-up where he received shots and I was informed was that he would soon start teething, and that otherwise he was fine.

When he developed a fever, I thought it was from the shots or possibly teething and was giving him tylenol. However, he never got better and we couldn't get rid of the fever. When we went to the ER, they gave him more meds for the fever, tested him for pneumonia and did some blood tests and said they would call me if anything showed up with a positive result. They called us the very next day to bring him back in because his blood work showed a growing culture.

They took blood at least three more times in the ER before sending us up to a room because they thought his blood tests in the ER were being contaminated since it was so busy in that area and his results kept coming up positive. Upstairs, the doctor decided to do a chest X-ray, which showed his lung had fluid completely around it and we had to immediately go to the closest children's hospital which was about 45 minutes away by ambulance.

He then had to get a tube in his chest to drain the fluid from around his lung and immediately started different antibiotics to fight against the MRSA. Of course, other things occurred while he was being treated, such as a blood clot and so forth. He was hospitalized for one month and a day before we were released, still on two different antibiotics that I had to administer to him through a picc line in his arm, a lovenox shot for his blood clot and I had to insert a tube through his nose to his stomach so he could feed overnight off a machine that would get his weight back up with a special calorie diet, since he lost weight while in the hospital.

He has come a long way. He is now three years old and a very strong little boy. However, that was a very scary moment for me and my family. We almost lost our loved one but he made it though. He is a fighter and I'm so blessed to have him. Thanks for reading my story. It still touches my heart very much.

tlcJPC
Post 2

MRSA is a serious matter, and should never be taken lightly. It can actually be transacted in a hospital, and often is, because it is resistant to antibiotics.

My doctor has informed me that in our area the actual strain is predominant. She actually told me that she has never tested anyone for this particular staph infection and had a negative result.

What many folks do not realize is that anyone can have this sort of staph on their skin, in their noses or anywhere practically on their body.

It only is an issue once it enters into the body through a break in the skin or gets into the blood stream. Once this happens, it can be very difficult to treat because it has mutated itself to fight against our most commonly used antibiotics.

That means that those, like infants and those who are already very ill, are very prone to staying sick with this for a while. It can actually be fatal.

Agni3
Post 1

I went through a MRSA infection in my infant daughter! It was quite scary and absolutely horrible to watch your child suffer with this problem.

I was changing my six month old’s diaper one morning before taking her to my sister’s home. My sister was a homemaker and kept my daughter so that I could work. I saw a pimple on her genital area with a whitehead.

I checked it again before actually leaving her, and thought it looked a little suspicious. I figured it was some sort of bite or something, but asked my sister to take her to the doctor that day anyway.

I received a phone call around two o’clock. My daughter was being sent to a surgeon. Her tiny pimple had become two different carbuncles; both were larger than quarters.

They were lanced; the doctor wanted me to hold her down, but I just couldn’t do it. She was given strong antibiotics, and the places had to be reopened a few weeks later.

Now she's fine, though, with only a couple of scars to show her ordeal.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email