Johnsie Poole has been in and out of the hospital with her husband Lloyd for the past few months. He is in ICU now.
"After 56 years of marriage," she says, "I sure want to keep him as long as I can."
She is glad to hear about new changes at all HCA hospitals to cut back on the risk of MRSA and Staph infections.
"In the community, data has shown approximately 1 in 5 people actually have MRSA living in their nose," says Maribeth Coluni, LewisGale Montgomery infection preventionist. "It is not causing the infection, but it can be spread by the hands of people into the environment."
LewisGale Montgomery is one of three local HCA hospitals that participated in a national study to find ways to better protect patients in ICU from serious blood stream infections. LewisGale Alleghany and LewisGale Pulaski also took part in the research that was conducted in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
One of the reasons the study focused on patients in ICU is because they are typically at highest risk for infection because of the lines, drains, and airways that are used in patient treatment.
Special germ killing wipes are used all over the patient's skin except the face. In addition to the wipes, an anti-microbial ointment that kills MRSA in the nose is applied twice a day for five days on all patients in the ICU.