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  1. #1
    Senior Member azmichelle's Avatar
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    MRSA/Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, aka Flesh eating bacteria.

    This is really serious. Everyone in LE really needs to know about this problem. You know how you hear everyone talking about antibiotic resistant bacterial infections? There is no cure and people are dying from infections just like they did before Penicillin was first discovered?

    Nursing homes are full of MRSA patients. We have overused antibiotics to the point that bacteria have mutated to something we have no cure for. People are DYING from infection again.

    You probably wonder what this has to do with you guys. Well, it most certainly DOES involve you. On the news just now there was a segment regarding the Phoenix Fire Department and how several of their FFs have come down with MRSA. They get it from working around the general public. The bacteria is not in the air, you have to come into actual contact with an infected person to catch this. Be honest... how many times do you touch a person without gloves on? Search them? Their pockets? When you put them in your car, are you touching them? If you aren't wearing your gloves you are being stupid and careless.

    Consider this... if you are exposed to MRSA you won't know until it is too late. You might have something as simple as a pimple and within a couple of days it is a huge ulcer easily 3" in diameter. It is very aggressive. Treatment generally means you check into a skilled nursing home and get IV antibiotics for about 6 weeks or more. The antibiotics are so strong you could end up with colitis and a variety of other problems. You will need bloodwork done after every 3rd dose of antibiotics. The drug of choice is usually Vancomycin. A verrrry expensive drug. The blood work ensures you are getting enough drug to kill the offending bacteria but not enough to cause organ failure (for one example).

    If that doesn't work and you can't kill the MRSA you are generally started on another IV drug called Zyvox. That is given every 12 hours for weeks on end. The cost is around $600.00 a day and that is just for the drug alone, that doesn't include the skilled nursing facility.

    If you start on Zyvox you have a 50/50 chance it will work. You had best hope you are in the 50% group that it does work because the other 50% die. I'm not exaggerating and I'm not kidding.

    All that because you touched an infected person without simple protection. If you have any open wounds, no matter how small you are putting yourself at a huge risk.

    If you want to be careless that is your choice, but what about your family? Co-workers?

    You have more reasons than you used to, to be careful. Here's another one. [img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif[/img]

    BTW... I found a link, it's from the CDC. Please read this and be aware of the facts of MRSA. If you don't educate yourselves you are putting you and your family at unnecessary risk. Understand, this is not something rare and unlikely to happen, instead it is quite common and too easy to become infected.

    MRSA

    (Edit to fix link)

  2. #2
    Verified LEO snort's Avatar
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    Boy thats cheery news. I think I'm going to invest in a full body glove. [img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif[/img] Thanks for the heads up!

  3. #3
    Senior Member azmichelle's Avatar
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    << Boy thats cheery news. I think I'm going to invest in a full body glove. [img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif[/img] Thanks for the heads up! >>



    I got to thinking after watching the news regarding Phx Fire and realized that it is easier to catch MRSA than it is AIDS. MRSA spreads like crazy in hospitals and nursing facilities because of the carelessness of staff. As easy as it is to catch it, it is just as easy to protect yourselves from it.

    Wear disposable gloves, not the black leather kind. Not unless you are going to wash your leather gloves 20 times a day.

    Question... do they give you guys that stuff to wash your hands that does not require water? It's a clear gel? Does anyone keep that stuff on hand at all times? If not, why not?

  4. #4
    Verified LEO rangersgt's Avatar
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    We can always count on Michelle to give us a cheery, happy start to a new day!

    Question... do they give you guys that stuff to wash your hands that does not require water? It's a clear gel? Does anyone keep that stuff on hand at all times? If not, why not?

    They don't give it to us, but I keep a bottle of it in my car at all times. Which reminds me, I need to get another bottle for the motorcycle.
    " If you would know a man, observe how he treats a cat." - Robert A. Heinlein

  5. #5
    Senior Member azmichelle's Avatar
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    << We can always count on Michelle to give us a cheery, happy start to a new day! ... >>



    Hey, I aim to please! [img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif[/img]

    BTW... In case you didn't actually go to the CDC link and read the following are three of the primary groups that are at risk for spreading MRSA:

    &gt;&gt;Clusters of skin infections caused by MRSA have been described among injecting drug-users (7,8), ... Native Americans in the United States ... (13), incarcerated persons (14)&lt;&lt;

    LEOs from outside the US are at equal risk by drug abusers and incarcerated persons as well as groups unique to their own country.

    This isn't anything to mess with. I'm used to taking precautions in a hospital setting but until I watched the news last night I really didn't think about other groups of people that are at risk such as FFs and LEOs. We can all take appropriate precautions but it is never an absolute that you won't catch it. It's just part of the risk of being in any profession where one deals with 'at risk' groups. [img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-frown.gif[/img]

  6. #6
    Verified LEO snort's Avatar
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    Michelle, they issue us the bottled gel and the PAWS hand towelettes. I generally carry both along with at least one pair of disposable gloves. I have a box of gloves in my trunk. We can also get everything we need from our Fire guys. I think this whole disease issue is one of the scariest things we deal with as cops!

  7. #7
    Senior Member azmichelle's Avatar
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    << ...I have a box of gloves in my trunk. >>



    Do you also keep your gun in the trunk? [img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Senior Member azmichelle's Avatar
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    Snort...

    &gt;&gt;I think this whole disease issue is one of the scariest things we deal with as cops!&lt;&lt;

    Snort, you have bad guys that want to kill you. You have people shooting guns at you. You have people out there that really don't care for you or your profession a whole heck of a lot and you are worried about diseases?

    I'm not saying catching death causing illnesses is not a big deal because it is. But it doesn't compare to people wanting to shoot you with guns as big as their forearm.

    You can take precautions with illnesses that are fairly secure. When it comes to diseases that are at issue today appropriate gloves are far more effective than a bullet proof vest for bullets.

    I don't know if I am making my point well or not. When it comes to disease educating yourself is the key. Educate yourself and take simple, easy, no-brainer precautions and the odds are certainly in your favor. If you don't educate yourself and take precautions you might as well plan your funeral. I'm serious. There is no excuse for not understanding the dangerous bacteria out there you need to know about. There is no excuse for not taking simple, cheap, easy precautions. Some officers wouldn't dream of going to work without a vest but they have an open wound from rough-housing with the dog earlier in the day. How much sense does that make?? Seriously, think about it!

    Tell me something, in a typical day do you come in contact with more people with potentially deadly bacteria or do you come in contact with more people that have guns and are actually pointing them at you? Which is a more common risk? Tell me something else, do you know more about bacteria or guns? Considering the CDC claims that MRSA bacteria exists in the noses of 30% of the population today, do more people on the street have guns in their pockets or MRSA in their noses?

    Answer this... ever drive by someone picking their nose? Digging away at some treasure up there? Do you suppose you have ever stopped a nose picker? Did they touch their license with those same nose picking hands? Do you ever loan them your pen to sign a ticket? Enough said??

    I have two pens at all times. One that is mine and I don't loan out and cheapo pens I let people keep. I don't want them back. [img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif[/img]

    MRSA doesn't have to be an issue. There is little excuse to get MRSA. If you do things the right way you won't likely get it. Become lazy and assume someone looks like a clean person and you'll be sharing a room with a 97 y/o in a nursing home. Do you know the difference between an &quot;O&quot; patient and a &quot;Q&quot; patient? An &quot;O&quot; patient is dying with their mouth open, a patient close to death has their mouth open and their tongue hanging out ... thus, a &quot;Q&quot; patient. Wanna share a room with some 97 y/o Q? It's a choice. (shrugs shoulders)

    Look, if you look back at my posts you will see that I never tell you guys how to do your jobs. That has never happened. But I'm here to tell you that this is real and this is serious. Take precautions or don't. But if you are in a nursing home someday on antibiotics that make you more ill than your disease, just remember.. that weird woman from Arizona did warn you. [img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif[/img]

  9. #9
    Verified LEO rangersgt's Avatar
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    << Answer this... ever drive by someone picking their nose? Digging away at some treasure up there? Do you suppose you have ever stopped a nose picker? Did they touch their license with those same nose picking hands? Do you ever loan them your pen to sign a ticket? >>



    Ya know ...... I usually try really hard and fairly successfully not to think about things like that. You would have to go and ruin everything.

    Hmmmm...what about the folks who have just been handed a ticket by a cop who was picking his nose?

    Anyway, in reality, that's why I have the bottle of hand sanitizer in the briefcase on the seat.
    " If you would know a man, observe how he treats a cat." - Robert A. Heinlein

  10. #10
    Verified LEO delzo70's Avatar
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    Jeez, I'm skeered now! I'm gonna start watching Monk again and learn some of his tricks. Sharona best stay home though, my cajun would be on her like a duck on a Junebug.
    If you see anybody I know, give them a hug!

  11. #11
    Verified LEO delzo70's Avatar
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    For you AZMichelle.

    A nurse got in line at the bank to deposit a check. Ready to fill in the deposit slip she reached into her pocket and pulled out a rectal thermometer instead of a pen.

    &quot;Oh great, some butthole has my pen.&quot;
    If you see anybody I know, give them a hug!

  12. #12
    Verified LEO snort's Avatar
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    Actually Michelle in 17 years as an Officer and 10 years on SWAT I've never had anyone point a gun at me. The closest I've been to being shot at is when I shot gas rounds into a third story apartment from the ground and the suspect shot out the window. Someone wants to shoot me I'll deal with it (and take my three days off) but while its a risk its not something that happens everyday. If it was you wouldn't have the overwhelming majority of Officers finish their careers without having to shoot anyone.

    The risk of coming in contact with a suspect who is carrying a disease is much higher than coming in contact with one who is pointing a gun at you. I exaggerated a little but as a profession I think the risk of catching a disease from a suspect is high frequency high risk type of event. Having someone point a gun at you is a high risk low frequency event.

    As an example look at the rate of Hepatitis C in the prison population. Nothing like having to fight someone and find out they are positive for Hepatitis. Nothing like taking someone to jail who has no symptoms and find out they are positive for TB. I've had both happen to me.

    I also use a throw away pen for offenders. I always put on bandages and use gloves whenever I can. I have anti-bacterial gel and wipes. I always bandage open wounds before work. Just because I don't like the idea of having to deal with disease doesn't mean I don't take precautions against it. Thank you for giving us warnings about issues like this.

    Ohh and I do keep my rifle, my 37mm gas gun, and my Sage gun in my trunk. Sometimes I put my handgun in my trunk but that's a post for another thread. [img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif[/img]

  13. #13
    Senior Member azmichelle's Avatar
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    << For you AZMichelle.

    A nurse got in line at the bank to deposit a check. Ready to fill in the deposit slip she reached into her pocket and pulled out a rectal thermometer instead of a pen.

    &quot;Oh great, some butthole has my pen.&quot;
    >>



    Do you ever watch ER? There was a scene a long time ago that was priceless. A PITA patient came in and was being awful. The staff finally took his temp rectally but instead of a thermometer it was a plastic sunflower with about a 2' stem.

  14. #14
    Senior Member azmichelle's Avatar
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    Snort...

    &gt;&gt;Actually Michelle in 17 years as an Officer and 10 years on SWAT I've never had anyone point a gun at me. The closest I've been to being shot at is when I shot gas rounds into a third story apartment from the ground and the suspect shot out the window. Someone wants to shoot me I'll deal with it (and take my three days off) but while its a risk its not something that happens everyday. If it was you wouldn't have the overwhelming majority of Officers finish their careers without having to shoot anyone.&lt;&lt;

    Well that was kinda sorta my point. The risk of deadly bacteria is probably a greater or a more common risk for you than guns but I'll bet you know more about guns and focus more on bad guys and their guns than you do their bacteria.

    On the other hand my other point was that it is really quite easy to protect yourself from something very deadly vs. guns where it isn't as easy to protect yourself.

    I don't know... the world is getting too complicated. I wouldn't want your job because you have to be an expert in too many fields. You guys have to be a policeman, therapist, social worker, weapons expert, an expert in the law, and now you have to be experts in bacteria.

    &gt;&gt;As an example look at the rate of Hepatitis C in the prison population. Nothing like having to fight someone and find out they are positive for Hepatitis. Nothing like taking someone to jail who has no symptoms and find out they are positive for TB. I've had both happen to me.&lt;&lt;

    Ditto. I actually caught TB from a patient. He was an illegal that was sick and nobody believed me. I knew he had TB, everyone thought I was over reacting. Well he was sick and I wasn't over reacting. I spent a month locked in my house. I couldn't even go to the grocery store. I was on antibiotics for almost 2 years. And let me tell you, having TB is about as socially acceptable as having an STD. When you think of TB you think of drug abusers, prison populations, those folks. Well people who treat those with TB are also exposed.

    If it makes you feel any better it is actually pretty difficult to catch TB. You have to be exposed repeatedly and where the air is very concentrated with the bacteria or come in contact with their sputum. If you have a prisoner with TB and you take him in your car to jail even being in such a confined area is not likely at all to give you the disease. Stay in his home for a week or two and then it is a different scenario. That doesn't mean you shouldn't take precautions with someone who might be sick, you should. But you aren't likely to catch it with that short exposure. However if he horks up a goober, run like hell.

    I'll bet you *anything* you have already transported lots of people who are infected with TB. TB is becoming a national crisis again. There are lots of various strains of TB and once again... some of them are antibiotic resistant. Not only are people dying of infection again they are dying of TB. Most of the antibiotic resistant strains are coming from the illegals crossing the border. Since you are in the valley you are more at risk than other parts of the country. I had more than enough time to do my research during my month quarantine in my home. Did you know that 50% of the illegals crossing the border cross into Arizona? They know they are sick but they won't get treatment because they are afraid they'll be deported. So they spread it to others and it has become a *very* serious problem.

    People who try to spit on you? Take NO chances. I don't care if you have to tape their mouths shut, don't let anyone spit on or near you. I caught it when a patient coughed on me and blood and sputum... well, nevermind. Suffice it to say it was gross.

    At the very least roll your car windows down whenever you have someone in your car. If they are coughing hang your own head out the window while you drive. [img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif[/img]

  15. #15
    Verified LEO rjagger's Avatar
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    Most of our jails and patrol cars could be classed as biological haz-mat areas due to the human fluids and biological contamination...level &quot;b&quot; protection with a resperator would probably be a good idea.

    It probably would not go over very well with most administrations...and if you folowed 1910.120 ...all those exposure forms would start to pile up...and they have to be on file for at least 30 years. Still wouldn't be a bad idea...especially if you needed to prove it was a work related illness for workmans comp or disability.


    What scares me the worst is still heart-attack and stroke ...antibotic doesn't work very well against them either...and it kills more cops then anything else...except maybe doctors and hospitals.

 

 
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