Infection Prevention Awareness: Giants Football Player Could Lose Foot to MRSA


The situation involving New York Giants tight end Daniel Fells and his battle with methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) remains serious. More than a week after checking into a local hospital, Fells’ battle with the infection in his ankle continues…He has undergone five surgeries to date and there could be more.

They have been fighting to save his foot (from amputation).

The situation began with a toe and ankle injury (for which) Fells was given a cortisone shot…His wife took him to the emergency room with a high temperature. His body was not responding to antibiotics…(but) Fells has responded better…to a new antibiotic.
After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had three players contract MRSA in 2013 (including former Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes), the National Football League worked with the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network (DICON) to establish a system for all 32 teams to follow. The Giants have taken every precaution, scrubbing their Quest Diagnostics Training Center and following the protocols established by DICON.
An MRSA skin infection looks like a boil, pimple or spider bite that may be red, swollen, painful, or pus-filled and oozing. These infections most commonly occur where the skin has been broken by cuts or scrapes, or in areas covered by hair.
Athletic equipment and locker rooms should be regularly cleaned and disinfected. There’s no evidence that spraying or fogging rooms or surfaces with disinfectant works any better than just focusing on frequently touched surfaces — such as wrestling mats, weight training equipment and locker room benches.
To help prevent the spread of MRSA infections:

  • Wash your hands. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer. Clean your hands before and after playing sports, using shared weight training equipment, and changing a bandage on a wound.
  • Take showers. Shower immediately after exercise. Don’t share items that touch your bare skin — such as bar soap, razors or towels.
  • Use barriers. Cover cuts and scrapes with a bandage to keep germs out. Lay a towel down to act as a barrier between your skin and benches in locker rooms, saunas and steam rooms.
  • Wash your uniform. Follow the laundering directions on your uniform’s label. Dry clothes completely in a dryer. Wash your uniform after each use.

Don’t try to treat the infection yourself — go to your doctor. Minor MRSA skin infections usually heal after being drained. If the infection doesn’t heal well or gets worse, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics that are still effective against MRSA. If the infection is severe, you may need to be hospitalized. In rare cases, MRSA infections can become life-threatening.

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