VRE (Vancomycin Resistant Enterocci) and MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus) are common in hospitals. Staph is a normal bacteria on human skin and Enterocci are normal bacteria in the human bowel. Patients who have been hospitalized for long periods develop resistant bacteria as a result of exposure to many antibiotics or the hospital environment. In recent years resistant organisms have become very common in the community and patients often bring them into the hospital.
Patients with these organisms are placed on Contact Precautions. Health care workers are at no great risk for acquiring infection from these organisms when these precautions are followed. There is no reason to exclude pregnant health care workers from caring for these patients.
The best safeguard against getting or transmitting resistant organisms is attention to good hand washing and standard precautions even if the patient is not known to have resistant organisms. These practices are the best defense against invisible organisms such as resistant bacteria. Don't let them hitch a ride on you!
Keywords: MRSA, VRE