12 Jan MRSA Superbug – Warning For Australia
The surgery on the older lady’s wrist was so minor it was performed while she was awake sitting up in the chair.
It seemed to have gone well at first but her family believes it was at that day clinic in regional Victoria where she picked up the superbug she’d never shake.
Drug-resistant golden staph, or methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), usually harmless on the skin, had reached her blood and within two days her health was plummeting.
Powerful intravenous antibiotics were pumped into her body periodically over the next 18 months, but each time an infection would again flare up causing swelling, weeping wounds, discoloured skin and delirium.
Her daughter Deborah made the agonising decision to let her slip away this August.
Before the surgery her mother was living an active life baking, sewing and volunteering around her community. Each time she fell ill again the 86-year-old was stripped of a little more independence.
Her children and grandchildren had to dress in disposable yellow gowns and gloves to visit, unable to throw their arms around her when they wanted to most.
While the family deal with their loss, Deborah is urging Australians to do their bit against superbugs and only use antibiotics when they’re needed.
“Resistant bacteria is not just something you hear about on the television, they really happen and they might happen to anybody, it might be you or your family and we need to be very careful about the way that we use antibiotics,” she said.
There were about 1500 cases of staph in Australian hospitals reported in the year to July 2015 and of those about 22 per cent, or 331 cases, were resistant to drugs, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports.
To combat increasingly resistant bacteria, viruses, parasites and other disease-causing organisms the government last week revealed the National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy, a four-year plan to boost education and research.