Bite-sized learning - getting MRSA screening right

Infection prevention and control relies on us having full information about the status of a patient. If we know they have MRSA (Meticillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) on their skin, in their nose or another clinical site, it helps us work out any additional precautions we need to put in place, keeping everyone as safe as possible:

  • If we know whether or not they have been isolated, we can help protect them by using Aseptic Non Touch Technique (ANTT) and using colonisation suppression
  • We can protect ourselves with hand hygiene procedures and (personal protective equipment) PPE use
  • We can protect other patients in our care by hand hygiene procedures, PPE use and disinfecting clinical equipment and the environment

MRSA screening includes the nose and groin, plus all wounds plus a CSU if the patient has a urinary catheter and sputum if the patient has a productive cough. 

To order MRSA screens via EPR use MRSA screen admission and choose from the list as per the sample being sent.  However, if you also need to look for a current infection you order an MC&S for the sample (e.g. search sputum and choose sputum MC&S) and add PLUS MRSA SCREEN to the clinical details.

If a patient with a wound is admitted with a wound infection, suspected sepsis/infection query cause all wounds should be examined as part of the patient assessment and the MC&S PLUS MRSA SCREEN swab sent at that time, but if the wound is not a factor in the admission e.g. a fall and the dressing is intact and not being examined as part of the patient assessment it is acceptable to delay the wound screen till the dressing change is due.

See more about MRSA on the infection control intranet pages.