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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Multi-drug Resistant Organisms: MRSA, VRE, and Clostridium difficile. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Risk Factors

Medical conditions that lead to immunosuppression increase the risk of MRSA infection. Participating in contact sports, sharing towels or other personal items, living in areas with unsanitary conditions or living in crowded conditions, such as in dormitories or military barracks may also increase the risk of becoming infected with MRSA.

Healthcare workers, the very young and the elderly are at increased risk of infection. Skin punctures and/or wounds increase infection risk by providing an entry point for the organism. Hospitalized patients are at risk of infection from healthcare workers with contaminated hands and from other MRSA carriers. Intravenous (IV) lines, surgical sites and implanted device can be easily contaminated with MRSA if infection control precautions are not followed.